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1. Introduction

1.1 Import Extradition

Import extradition is the process whereby competent authorities from the United Kingdom seek the return of persons from another territory for one of the following purposes:

  • To be prosecuted 
  • To be sentenced
  • To serve a sentence that has already been imposed

Import extradition essentially falls into two broad categories.

The first category concerns extradition from Member States of the European Union where the European arrest warrant (EAW) is the mechanism used to seek surrender. In this category, Crown Prosecutors throughout England and Wales are responsible both for drafting EAWs in their own cases, and then applying to the court for their issue. EAWs are both issued and processed by judicial authorities without state involvement.

The second category concerns extradition from states outside the European Union. In these cases Crown Prosecutors throughout England and Wales are responsible for collating the necessary information for the specialist Extradition Unit of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in London, who will draft the extradition request. The papers will then be passed to the Home Office's International Criminality Unit for issue, as extradition requests to states outside the European Union are made on a state-to-state basis.

1.2 Export extradition

Export extradition is the process whereby competent authorities from another territory seek the extradition of a person from the United Kingdom to their territory, for one of the following purposes:

  • To be prosecuted 
  • To be sentenced 
  • To serve a sentence that has already been imposed

The Extradition Unit of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division represents foreign authorities with regard to all export extradition requests. As Crown Prosecutors outside this unit have no role in export extradition cases this guidance deals, in the main, with import extradition. However, a brief outline of export extradition is given for information.

Westminster Magistrates' Court deals with all extradition hearings in export extradition cases. Anyone arrested in England and Wales pursuant to an export extradition request should be brought before this court as soon as practicable after his arrest. If a person is inadvertently brought before a different court, the prosecutor at court should inform the bench of the above.

Relevance of export extradition to ongoing domestic cases

Occasionally someone arrested pursuant to an extradition request from another territory will be facing prosecution for an unrelated offence in the United Kingdom. If this situation arises, the extradition court must adjourn the extradition proceedings until the domestic matter is concluded. Prosecutors are reminded that it is unnecessary to adjourn domestic proceedings against a defendant simply because he or she also faces extradition on unrelated offences. Sections 8A,22, 76A and 88 of the Extradition Act 2003 all give primacy to domestic proceedings by providing that where a person is charged with an offence in the UK before the actual Extradition Hearing has concluded extradition proceedings must be adjourned to await the outcome of the domestic proceedings. Therefore, adjourning the domestic proceedings to await determination of the extradition hearing creates a procedural blockage and unnecessary delay. The proper course is to proceed with the prosecution in the local court ensuring that CMS is correctly updated and that the SCCTD Extradition Unit (SCD.Extradition@cps.gsi.gov.uk) is made aware of the domestic proceedings.

Separate considerations attach to cases involving concurrent jurisdiction with a foreign prosecuting authority. Where the local offences and the extradition offences overlap prosecutors should consult the Director's Guidelines on Handling Cases where the jurisdiction to Prosecute is shared with Prosecuting Authorities Overseas. These are available on the Infonet or on the Casework Hub. 

If the wanted person is serving a sentence in the United Kingdom, the extradition court may adjourn extradition proceedings until that sentence has been served. Alternatively the extradition court can consider the temporary transfer of the wanted person to the requesting state, subject to the receipt of undertakings as to the status of the wanted person in the requesting state during that temporary transfer; for example an undertaking that the wanted person will be remanded in custody whilst in the other state.

 

Note, however, that if the wanted person is merely a witness or a suspect in a domestic case, the extradition process will go ahead as normal. An extradition request from another country cannot be postponed because the wanted person is a witness or a suspect in domestic proceedings in England and Wales.

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