High Court upholds decision refusing extradition to Romania due to inhuman and degrading prison conditions

On 29 April 2021, Mr Justice Chamberlain gave judgment in an important case concerning extradition to Romania. In so doing, the High Court upheld the decision of District Judge Hamilton to discharge Mr Iancu from a European arrest warrant.

District Judge Hamilton had discharged Mr Iancu on the basis that there were substantial grounds to believe that Mr Iancu risked detention in inhuman and degrading prison conditions in Romania contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’), and further that the assurance provided by Romania assuring Mr Iancu of Article 3 ECHR compliant prison conditions was inadequate.

Romania appealed Judge Hamilton’s decision and argued, firstly, that the assurance provided was in fact adequate and, secondly, that Judge Hamilton was wrong to refuse to admit further assurances into evidence following the extradition hearing.

The High Court dismissed the appeal and upheld Judge Hamilton’s decision. Mr Justice Chamberlain found that the assurance was inadequate, that Judge Hamilton was not wrong to refuse to admit further assurances, and that, in any event, the new assurances were generic in nature and that such generic assurances cannot provide adequate safeguards where Romanian prison conditions are systematically inhuman and degrading.

Graeme Hall represented Mr Iancu, and was instructed by Oracle Solicitors.

Judgment can be found here.