The Extradition Act 2003 explained
The Extradition Act 2003 regulates all extradition in the UK. The first two Parts of the Act deal with 'export-extradition' out of the UK. Part 1 deals with extradition under the European Arrest Warrant system and Part 2 deals with all other requests.
Part 1 of the Extradition Act
Countries under Part 1 of the Act:
These countries all make extradition requests through the European Arrest Warrant system.
The European Arrest Warrant
European Arrest Warrants facilitate the rapid return of fugitives to the requesting country throughout any of the member states listed above.
The system is based on and interpreted by UK courts with mutual respect for the legal systems of each member country. This makes resisting extradition from Category 1 territories extremely difficult and one will need to put forward an extremely strong case in order to defeat the extradition request.
Extradition Process under Part 1:
- The warrant is transmitted to the National Crime Agency
- The warrant is certified and becomes executable by UK law officials
- On arrest, the requested person is taken to Westminster Magistrates Court
- An initial hearing is held where an extradition hearing date is set
- At the extradition hearing, the judge will decide whether there are any bars to extradition and whether the person should be 'surrendered' to the requesting country.
Due to the speed at which this system operates it is crucial to obtain effective representation as soon as possible.
Part 2 of the Extradition Act
Countries under Part 2 of the Act:
|Algeria||Hong Kong||The Republic of Korea|
|Antigua & Barbuda||Iceland||St. Christopher & Nevis|
|Armenia||Iraq||St. Vincent & the Grenadines|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||Liechtenstein||Swaziland|
|Chile||Mauritius||Trinidad & Tobago|
|El Salvador||New Zealand||The United Arab Emirates|
|Fiji||Nicaragua||The United States of America|
|Grenada||Papua New Guinea||Zimbabwe|
Extradition Process under Part 2:
- An extradition request is made to the Secretary of State
- If certified, the request is forwarded to the court and an arrest warrant is issued
- On arrest the defendant is brought to Westminster Magistrates' Court for an initial hearing and a date for an extradition hearing will be set
- At the extradition hearing, a judge will determine whether there are any bars to extradition and decides whether the case should be sent to the Secretary of State for a decision
- The Secretary of State will decide whether or not to extradite
Under Part 2 some countries are still required to produce evidence regarding the offence itself but this requirement has been removed in many instances.