Mary Westcott

Year of Call

Mary Westcott

Mary is a well established extradition barrister with an excellent reputation for her specialist knowledge, advocacy and drafting.  She prosecutes and defends, often in grave and complex matters, and lectures on extradition and related issues.  Her background is in general crime and civil work, providing her with broad experience from fraud to offences of serious violence. 


Mary also acts in public law proceedings, such as applications for judicial review, habeas corpus applications and statutory appeal proceedings.  She advises individuals, requesting judicial authorities and Governments at each stage of the extradition process, including mutual legal assistance matters (such as Interpol Red Notice challenges and removal). 


Chambers and Partners Guide has described Mary as “conscientious, hard-working"; "very committed to her cases"; that she "…excels in defending extradition cases, especially those involving human rights issues"; and notes that “sources are impressed with her ability to build a rapport with clients."


In 2010 Mary was invited to act as the legal assistant to the DPP's principal legal advisor.  This included assisting and advising on sensitive and very complex cases encompassing double jeopardy, deaths in custody and contentious charging decisions.


Before becoming a barrister, Mary studied Philosophy at UCL and spent 2 years working for Labour MEPs in the European Parliament.  She also studied Public International Law at the University of Amsterdam (LLM) and plays rugby with Hackney RFC. 


Mary is experienced at conducting extradition proceedings under Part 1 and Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.  She has represented requesting authorities, defendants, interested parties and interveners.  Mary can provide informed advice and effective advocacy at each stage of proceedings. 

Her expertise in public law proceedings and mutual legal assistance allows her to provide practical advice which can, in turn, influence extradition cases.  She has conduct of several ongoing cases where competing international obligations affect issues in an extradition case, due to the international instruments concerning the identification of victims of human trafficking and children’s rights.

Mary has a firm grasp of the procedural issues that arise during extradition proceedings, for example having represented in the first prosecution appeal against bail (R (on the application of the USA) v Frater [2009] EWHC 1122 (Admin)) and secured numerous discharges due to breach of statutory removal periods.

The European Convention of Human Rights lies at the heart of Mary’s practice.  She has represented Appellants in leading cases concerning potentially inhuman and degrading treatment in Lithuanian, Latvian and Hungarian prisons.  Mary can advise on appropriate expert witnesses in respect of most jurisdictions.  She has a particular interest in children’s rights and has frequently successfully invoked Article 8 to prevent extradition, acting for the mother in at least three rare simultaneous extradition requests for both parents.  Mary has also successfully applied for interim relief from the European Court of Human Rights pursuant to Rule 39.

Mary has experience of “import” extradition (requests for arrests abroad) in order to secure extradition into this country from territories such as Iraq, Pakistan and India following allegations of grave offences including honour killings and arson.   This experience is particularly useful when Mary is instructed to provide pre-request advice to states and individuals.

Mary regularly provides lectures and informal talks about topics related to extradition law and is available for media comment.  

Administrative and Public Law

Mary has experience of claimant and respondent judicial review as well as applications for emergency injunctions and habeas corpus.  She has represented individuals and requesting authorities as an intervener to judicial reviews.

Whilst instructed for individuals resisting extradition, Mary often advises on parallel judicial review proceedings as a means to a challenge decisions arising from the refusal of representation orders, the adequacy of Local Authority assessments and judicial case management decisions (such as a refusal to adjourn).  For example Mary has successfully stayed removal by air travel due to health concerns following an urgent out of hours injunction (the appeal having been dismissed in B v Monchengladbach Department of Public Prosecutions, Germany [2014] EWHC 2025 (Admin).

Notable cases

Notable cases: Extradition Act 2003

Validity of European Arrest Warrants (section 2)

  • Echimov v Romania [2011] EWHC 864 (Admin):  Acting for the Appellant where appeal was allowed on the basis that a contributing extradition offence was not particularised
  • Morawski v Poland [2012] EWHC 4102 (Admin):  Acting for the Appellant where appeal was allowed because the particulars in a warrant did not describe the circumstances of the 40 fraud offences or the degree of the defendant's participation as required by the section 2(4)(c) (issue not raised at first instance)
  • Zakrzewski v Poland [2012] EWHC 173 (Admin) [2012] 1 W.L.R. 2248:  Acting for the Appellant where a warrant relating to various individual sentences did not comply with the Extradition Act 2003 s.2(6)(e) where the subsequent passing of a cumulative sentence meant that the information in the warrant did not relate to the current operative sentence. re:  s2, s25 and Article 8
  • Zakrzewski v Poland [2013] UKSC 2; [2013] 1 W.L.R. 324; [2013] 2 All E.R. 93; [2013] 2 C.M.L.R. 33;  A European arrest warrant was valid for the purposes of s2(6)(e) even if it specified a number of individual convictions and sentences which, after the issue of the warrant, were aggregated by a criminal court in the requesting state. A warrant that was valid upon issue could not become invalid over time
  • Poland v Szczesny [2014] EWHC 853 (Admin):  For the Appellant where appeal was allowed despite incorrect particulars of sentence being included on EAW
  • Poland v Wojciechowski [2014] EWHC 4162 (Admin):  For the Appellant where appeal was allowed concerning compliance with section 2(6)(c), (“any other warrant”) currently subject to an application before the Supreme Court

Extradition Offences (section 10)

  • Ulatowski v Poland [2010] EWHC 2673 (Admin); [2011] Lloyds Rep. F.C. 18 and [2011] EWHC 1260 for the Appellant in two appeals regarding the nature of the obtaining property by deception offence and Article 8 ECHR
  • UAE v Samra [2011]:  For the requested person at first instance, discharged due to a lack of dual criminality and prima facie case where high value cheque fraud alleged
  • Skiba v Poland [2013] EWHC 3707 (Admin):  For the Appellant, appeal was allowed in part as conduct specified did not disclose an offence of false accounting
  • Adamczewski v Poland [2014] EWHC 2958 (Admin):  For the Appellant where appeal was allowed on the basis that the conduct in the EAW did not disclose an offence of money laundering under English law

Double Jeopardy (section 12)

  • Romania v Gurau (2010, CoWMC):  Double Jeopardy raised and G discharged (defending)
  • Germany v Ramzanpour (2014, WMC):  Acting for the requested person, successfully argued double jeopardy before Senior District Judge Riddle by relying on a decision by an Iranian Military Tribunal to prevent extradition to Germany for a similar charge of people trafficking

The Passage of Time (section 14)

  • Czech Republic v Hudec (2011, WMC):  Acting for the requested person, who was discharged on the basis of the passage of time which was only 3 years, but during which he had been a victim of human trafficking
  • Wyczesany v Poland [2013] EWHC 698 (Admin):  Acting for the Appellant, due to the impact of a previous extradition request made by the same Polish Court, the extradition order was quashed
  • Przybysz v Poland [2014] EWHC 1240 (Admin):  Acting for the Appellant, the appeal was allowed in part, providing authority that it can be oppressive to extradite for one offence (in this case armed robbery) but not for another in the same EAW (in this case burglary)

Conviction in absentia and Deliberate Absence (section 20)

  • Bicioc v Romania [2014] EWHC 628 (Admin); [2014] A.C.D. 91:  Acting for the Appellant, this leading authority evaluates the definition of deliberate absence in light of the revised Framework Decision, applying it to quash the extradition order

Proportionality (section 21A)

  • Oravkin v Slovakia (WMC, 2015):  Acting for the requested person who was discharged due to, amongst other bars, the statutory proportionality bar for an offence of driving whilst disqualified despite an assertion he knew of the allegation and had fled Slovakia

Article 3 ECHR (section 21)

  • Aleksynas & 6 Others v Lithuania [2014] EWHC 437 (Admin):  Acted for the first Appellant in the lead case challenging prison conditions on remand in Lithuania which led to the assurances that each individual would only be held in Kaunas remand prison
  • Brazuks, Zibala and Sinicins v Latvia [2014] EWHC 1021 (Admin):  Acting for the female Appellant in this leading Article 3 challenge concerning Latvia, with a concurrent Article 8 argument (which led to grant of temporary Rule 39 relief to enable practical travel arrangements for the child)
  • Horvath v Hungary (ongoing, CO/3252/2015):  Acting for the Appellant in the lead case concerning remand prison conditions in Hungary

Article 4 ECHR (section 21)

  • Igbinovia v Spain [2014] EWHC 4512 (Admin):  Appeal concerning potential victim of trafficking and related judicial review of the identification process (ongoing).

Article 6 ECHR (section 21)

  • Androhovici v Romania [2011] EWHC 130 (Admin): Concerning the use of interpreters (for Romania)

Article 8 ECHR (section 21)

  • Strkacaova v Germany [2011] EWHC 2387 (Admin) For the Appellant where the appeal was adjourned on 4 separate occasions in order to obtain a clear diagnosis of physical condition
  • A&B v Hungary [2013] EWHC 3132 (Admin); [2014] A.C.D. 33;Appeal was allowed acting on behalf of the mother (with Caoilfhionn Gallagher representing the child via a litigation friend).  A mother would not be extradited to Hungary to face trial and serve a sentence for fraud offences as there was not enough evidence to show that the devastating consequences for her nine-year-old daughter of being left in England would be ameliorated or mitigated
  • Podolski v Poland [2013] EWHC 3593 (Admin):  For the Appellant, appeal was allowed considering all the facts including delay, despite acceptance that the Appellant was a fugitive from Poland
  • Szymanski & Szymanska v Poland [2013] EWHC 3515 (Admin):  Represented mother in parallel extradition request for both parents, the appeal was dismissed but extradition stayed until the child of 17 received his A level results which would determine his alternative accommodation
  • Jesionowski v Poland [2014] EWHC 319 (Admin):  Acting for the appellant where extradition was disproportionate due to the short remaining sentence
  • Sburatoru v Romania [2014] EWHC 2333 (Admin):  For the Respondent in complicated appeal proceedings arising due to concurrent family division high court proceedings in respect of 9 children
  • AB v Poland [2014] EWHC 1560 (QB):  For the Appellant where appeal was allowed where extradition of single mother and victim of domestic violence requested.  Fresh evidence demonstrated the facts had changed since the case at first instance
  • R. (on the application of Einikis) v Lithuania [2014] EWHC 2325 (Admin):  For the Appellant where appeal was allowed on basis of change of circumstances
  • Durakiewicz v Regional Court Poznan [2014] EWHC 4277 (Admin):  For the Appellant where appeal was allowed following three adjourned hearings which demonstrated “peculiar” facts arising from previous extradition to the same Court in Poland
  • Sosik v Lithuania [2014] EWHC 2487 (Admin):  For the Appellant where appeal was allowed on the basis that the DJ was “plainly wrong” in application of an exceptionality test at first instance
  • Michalik v Poland [2014] EWHC 4423 (Admin):  For the Appellant where the appeal was allowed on the overall facts, but including credit for time spent subject to a 6 hour curfew in the UK

Mental and Physical Condition (section 25)

  • R (on the application of Mikolajczyk) v Poland [2010] EWHC 3503 (Admin):  For the Appellant regarding physical condition (advanced HIV and associated conditions)
  • Tuba v Hungary [2013] EWHC 1767 (Admin):  For the Appellant advancing the risk of suicide arising from complicated mental and physical health problems.  Extradition stayed for 8 months following dismissal of appeal due to ancillary applications
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