Extradition order of vulnerable man with mental health condition quashed

21.02.17 | |

 

On 21 February 2017, the Divisional Court (Treacy LJ and Nicol J) quashed an order for extradition made by district judge Lucie. The Court found that the district judge was wrong to conclude that extradition would not breach the appellant’s rights to a private and family life, as protected by Article 8 ECHR.

 

The appellant’s surrender was sought by Poland for an offence of robbery which took place in November 2008. Since the alleged offence, the appellant had established his life in the UK and had also developed schizophrenia; a chronic mental health condition.

 

In quashing the extradition order, the Court agreed that the district judge had adopted a “serious misstatement of the law” which went beyond “excusable verbal infelicity”. Furthermore, the judge had failed to consider the delay in issuing the European arrest warrant, during which time the appellant had developed a serious mental health condition. Despite ample opportunity, the delay remained unexplained, which indicated that the Polish authorities attached a “lesser degree of importance” to the offending.

 

The Court stated that while it could be assumed that the appellant would receive adequate treatment in Poland, his stability would be “jeopardised” if surrendered. The Court concluded that:

 

“The effect of extradition will be to take away from this appellant a stable situation in which he can receive appropriate treatment, whilst living in a settled domestic setting with his mother, and while being treated in such circumstances by a team of medical professionals who are familiar with him and his medical history.  In addition, whilst it may properly be said that the appellant’s mother is clearly an adaptable person, it is clear that her ability to make appropriate provision for the appellant in the event of his return to Poland, would be significantly compromised. 

 

Whilst it is to be hoped that arrangements would be made in Poland to avoid a relapse into very serious mental illness for this appellant, it cannot be gainsaid that return would involve a significant degree of risk of that occurring as well as considerable stress and hardship for this appellant.  That is to be contrasted with the settled way of life available to him here, with much stronger guarantees of maintaining stability in his condition.  ...”

 

Graeme Hall represented the appellant, and was instructed by Kaim Todner Solicitors.  The judgment can be found here.

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