Ad hoc extradition arrangement
Also known as a “special” extradition. This is a treaty specifically negotiated to secure the return of an individual or a group of individuals. This power is provided in the United Kingdom by section 194 of the Extradition Act 2003 (“EA 2003”).
A specialist court within the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice. The court exercises the High Court’s supervisory jurisdiction over first instance extradition decisions handed down in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
The Court may sit with a single judge or as a Divisional court, consisting of a Lord Justice of Appeal sitting alongside a judge of the High Court.
A parallel issue to extradition. In the United Kingdom, where an order for extradition is made, and the person has made an asylum claim (before or after the issue of a Part 1 extradition), extradition cannot take place until a final determination of that claim is made: sections 39 and 121 EA 2003 as amended by section 162(1)(b) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (ACBP 2014). For extradition to a category 1 territory, extradition must be made to a safe country: section 40 EA 2003.
Article 26 Alert
An alert on the second generation Schengen Information System (SISII) to arrest a person wanted for extradition purposes, for whom a warrant has been issued in the requesting state.
Belfast Recorder’s Court
The venue for first instance extradition hearings in respect of persons arrested in Northern Ireland, conducted before the Recorder of Belfast.
Bilateral extradition treaty
A treaty on extradition between two states only. The majority of the UK’s bilateral extradition treaties have been superseded by multilateral conventions.
Bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty
A treaty on mutual legal assistance between two states only.
The body that has the responsibility and power to receive requests for mutual legal assistance and either to execute them or to transmit them to the competent authorities for execution. The central authority in the UK is based within the National Crime Agency’s (NCA’s) International Crime Bureau. Central authorities are responsible for ensuring that requests are executed quickly and properly.
City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court
The venue for extradition hearings in respect of persons arrested in England and Wales. Hearings are conducted before a specially authorised district judge.
A Crown Prosecution Service lawyer must give consideration to the Code for Crown Prosecutors’ before preparing an extradition request. The “Code test” sets the basic principle for prosecution and has two stages: evidential and public interest.
The evidential test requires enough evidence for a “realistic prospect” of prosecution. The public interest test requires that a prosecution is carried out with a view to satisfying the interests of the victims and the wider public.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
The Extradition Unit, within the International Justice and Organised Crime Division of the CPS, represents the issuing judicial authority or requesting state in extradition proceedings before the courts of England and Wales.
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)
Provides representation for the issuing judicial authority and requesting states in extradition proceedings before the Courts of Scotland. The COPFS also certifies EAW in a similar way to the NCA, in respect of cases in England and Wales.
Crown Solicitor’s Office Northern Ireland (CSONI)
Provides representation for issuing judicial authorities and requesting states in extradition proceedings before the Northern Ireland courts.
A parallel issue to extradition. A state, when receiving a request for extradition, may prefer to deport or expulse a person. This may be where there is either no treaty basis to extradition between the states concerned, where the requested state cannot grant the extradition request, or simply in order to avoid lengthy extradition procedure. This is sometimes termed “disguised” or “veiled” extradition.
For a recent consideration of deportation or expulsion by the Council of Europe, see here.
Circulated by INTERPOL: these are less formal than a Red Notice (see below) and request the arrest or location of individuals or additional information in relation to a police investigation.
The principle that a person may only be extradited for conduct which is criminal in both the requesting and requested state. Also known as ‘dual criminality’.
The principle that has developed through common law, that is intended to prevent defendants from being prosecuted twice for the same offence in different jurisdictions. Also known as ‘ne bis in idem’.
The judicial co-operation agency of the EU, comprised of national prosecutors, magistrates or police officers from each Member State. Eurojust has competence over the investigation and prosecution of serious crime, in particular organised crime or crime with a cross-border element, and facilitates EAW extradition and mutual legal assistance requests.
European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
A judge hearing an extradition matter must consider its compatibility with the ECHR. Those ECHR rights most frequently raised in the extradition context are: Article 2 (the right to life), Article 3 (the prohibition on torture and inhuman and degrading treatment), Article 5 (the right to liberty and security of the person), Article 6 (the right to a fair trial) and Article 8 (the right to privacy, family life, home and correspondence).
For a summary of ECHR rights published by the European Court of Human Rights, see here.
The EU agency that supports the EU’s law enforcement community by gathering, analysing, and disseminating information and coordinating operations. Europol is not a European police force. Rather, it serves EU Member States by responding to criminal trends through the provision of data analysis. It also participates in joint investigation teams, comprised of various Member State authorities.
European Arrest Warrant
An arrest warrant valid throughout the European Union. Often shortened to ‘EAW’. See ‘EAW Procedure’ for more information.
Executing judicial authority
The authority designated under domestic law to surrender on an EAW. In England and Wales, this is usually a district judge sitting at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Export extraditionExtradition from the UK (also termed an “incoming request”). Competent authorities from another territory will seek the extradition of a person from the UK, to their territory to be prosecuted, sentenced or to serve a sentence that has already been imposed.
The EU statutory provision that sets out the framework for operation of the European Arrest Warrant. See ‘EAW Procedure’ for more information.
Free movement of persons
EU citizens are granted free movement rights, which is protected through Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). Wrongful extradition may violate free movement rights.
The Home Office certifies and forwards ‘import’ extradition requests that have been prepared by prosecuting authorities, to the British Embassy, or High Commission in the requested state. Requests are received primarily from the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office. In Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service processes outgoing extradition requests. Requests that are made by most of the Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories are submitted through the Foreign and
The Home Office certifies ‘export’ extradition requests from category 2 territories and forwards them to the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court to decide whether an arrest warrant should be issued. Beyond these procedural functions, the Home Office considers overall extradition policy and legislative remit.
A parallel issue to extradition. Immigration is sometimes relevant to the assessment of where someone is resident (and the liberty of those with alien status), the right to travel when subject to extradition proceedings, and to the issue of what oversight is exercised in relation to pre-trial detention facilities.
The international police organisation, responsible for facilitating international police co-operation, currently comprised of 192-member countries. It is organised into a General Assembly and Executive Committee. The former is the supreme governing body, and made-up of delegates appointed by each member countries. The latter is elected by the General Assembly, and provides guidance and direction to the organisation, and implantation of General Assembly-initiated decisions. INTERPOL is responsible for, inter alia, circulating a number of requests for co-operation or alerts, allowing police in member countries to share crime-related information.
Extradition to the UK (also termed an “outgoing request”). Competent authorities from the UK will seek the return of persons from another territory to be prosecuted, sentenced or to serve a sentence that has already been imposed.
Issuing judicial authority (IJA)
The judicial authority empowered by the issuing Member State which has the competence to issue an EAW under the law of that state. In England and Wales, the CPS acts as the representative of the IJA in extradition proceedings.
The period specified in certain jurisdictions in which proceedings for a particular criminal offence must be brought.
Multilateral extradition arrangement
Extradition arrangements between more than two countries.
Multilateral mutual legal assistance
Addresses mutual legal assistance between a group of countries. The UN Model Treaty for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters is a multilateral model for bilateral mutual legal assistance treaties in this context. In addition exists hybrid mutual legal assistance models, which take a form that combines elements of a bilateral and multilateral treaty. For example, the 2009 mutual legal assistance treaty between the EU and the US.
Mutual legal assistance
A method of co-operation between states for obtaining assistance in the investigation or prosecution of criminal offences, most commonly via formal mutual legal assistance treaties (MLATs). MLATs define the territories, and which type of criminal and judicial activity, fall within its scope. MLATs also specify the type of mutual assistance that is permitted. MLATs may also address the interaction between various treaties in the event of conflict.
National Crime Agency (NCA)
The designated central authority in England and Wales for the processing of EAWs. It replaced the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), which held these functions until October 2013.
Securing the urgent arrest of someone who is wanted for extradition. It may be used prior to the commencement of a formal extradition process.
The extradition process between Commonwealth states. It is applied where there is no formal extradition treaty in existence but participating Commonwealth states have made an extradition arrangement, under terms which are then incorporated into domestic legislation.
This is the most important alert circulated by INTERPOL, in the extradition context. A Red Notice is circulated with a view to seeking the location and arrest of wanted persons.
The person sought by a country to be extradited for prosecution or for punishment. Often shortened to ‘RP’.
The sovereign state requesting the person for extradition.
The state sovereign state formally requested by another sovereign state to comply with that state’s request for extradition.
Schengen Information System (SIS)
Alerts on persons wanted for arrest for surrender are entered on the Schengen Information System (SIS), improving operational co-operation between police and judicial authorities. SIS allows competent national authorities to issue and consult alerts on persons who may have been involved in a serious crime or may not have the right to enter or stay in the EU. It also contains alerts on missing persons and property.
Schengen Information System II (SIS II)
The second generation of SIS, which went live in April 2015. It is comprised of a central system, Schengen States’ national systems, and a communication infrastructure between the central and the national systems. The UK connected to this system on 13 April 2015 (but only participates in the law enforcement aspects). SIS II has a number of new functionalities over SIS, including EAW attached directly to the alert for persons, wanted for arrest for surrender or extradition, enhanced alerts on persons and objects, direct enquiries in the central system, biometric data, and information on misused identity. A European Commission summary of SIS II is available here.
A person shall be tried or punished, after extradition, only for the criminal conduct for which his or her surrender has been made. A requested state, after surrender, may consent to further trial or punishment.