Stateless mother-of-two wins appeal against extradition to Lithuania

25.01.18 | |

Malcolm Hawkes represented a stateless woman who challenged the order for her extradition to Lithuania to serve an 18-month prison sentence for fraud, and to stand trial for similar offences.

 

The woman had entered the UK on false identity documents and was convicted of those offences in this country.

 

She challenged extradition on the basis that her statelessness would mean she could never return to the UK if she were extradited and be reunited with her children. Born in the Soviet Union, she had never regularised her immigration status in independent Lithuania; she faced insurmountable obstacles in establishing her right to citizenship of that country.

 

In the UK, she was the victim of domestic violence and extreme controlling behaviour from her husband, who had been convicted of murder in Lithuania and would regularly threaten her. He has since been deported to Lithuania where he faces trial for a second murder allegation.

 

The woman’s two children were severely affected by their mother’s arrest and imprisonment and were at real risk of further significant and serious psychological harm were she to be extradited.

 

Describing the case as one of the most difficult of its type, High Court judge, Sir Wyn Williams accepted that if the woman were extradited, she would automatically lose custody of her children as she would be unable to contest care proceedings in the family court. He concluded that this outcome would be a clearly disproportionate interference with her and her children’s right to private and family life.

 

In JB v Lithuania, Malcolm was instructed by John Howey of JFH Solicitors

 

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