Law Report: Abuse of extradition is reviewable: Regina v Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court, Ex parte Bennett - House of Lords (Lord Griffiths, Lord Bridge of Harwich, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton, Lord Lowry and Lord Slynn of Hadley), 24 June 1993 - UK - News - The Independent

Law Report: Abuse of extradition is reviewable: Regina v Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court, Ex parte Bennett - House of Lords (Lord Griffiths, Lord Bridge of Harwich, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton, Lord Lowry and Lord Slynn of Hadley), 24 June 1993

The Divisional Court has jurisdiction to inquire into whether an accused has been brought within the jurisdiction in disregard of extradition procedures, and, if satisfied that there has been an abuse of extradition procedures, may stay the prosecution and order the release of the accused.

The House of Lords (Lord Oliver dissenting) allowed an appeal by the applicant from the Divisional Court's decision that it had no jurisdiction to inquire into the circumstances by which a defendant was brought within the jurisdiction.

The applicant, a New Zealand citizen wanted for criminal offences in this country in 1989, alleged that the English police and Crown Prosecution Service, having traced him to South Africa and having decided not to request his return through extradition, colluded with the South African police to have him forcibly returned to this country.

At committal proceedings the stipendiary magistrate refused an adjournment to permit a challenge to the magistrates' court's jurisdiction. On the applicant's application for judicial review of the magistrate's decision, the Divisional Court ruled that it had no jurisdiction to inquire into the circumstances by which the applicant had come to be within the court's jurisdiction.

Alan Newman QC and Brian Jubb (Hallinan Blackburn Gittings & Nott) for the applicant; Colin Nicholls QC and Robert Fischel (Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.

LORD GRIFFITHS said that there was no suggestion that the applicant could not have a fair trial, nor could it be suggested that it would have been unfair to try him if he had been returned to this country through extradition procedures. If the court was to have power to interfere with the prosecution it must be because the judiciary accepted a responsibility for the maintenance of the rule of law that embraced a willingness to oversee executive action and to refuse to countenance behaviour that threatened either basic human rights or the rule of law.

There was no doubt that the judiciary should accept that responsibility in the field of criminal law.

Extradition procedures were designed not only to ensure that criminals were returned but also to protect the rights of those accused of crimes by the requesting country.

Where process of law was available to return an accused to this country through extradition procedures, our courts would refuse to try him if he had been forcibly brought within our jurisdiction in disregard of those procedures by a process to which our police, prosecuting or other executive authorities had been a knowing party.

If extradition was not available, very different considerations would arise on which no opinion was expressed.

The power of the magistrates, whether sitting as committing justices or exercising their summary jurisdiction, to exercise control over their powers through an abuse of process jurisdiction was affirmed. That power should be confined to matters directly affecting the fairness of the trial, such as delay or unfair manipulation of court procedures.

If a serious question arose as to the deliberate abuse of extradition procedures, a magistrate should allow an adjournment so that an application could be made to the Divisional Court which was the proper forum in which such a decision should be taken.

The High Court in its supervisory jurisdiction had power to inquire into the circumstances by which a person had been brought within the jurisdiction and if satisfied that it was in disregard of extradition procedures it might stay the prosecution and order the release of the accused.

LORD BRIDGE, concurring, said that there was no principle more basic to any proper system of law than the maintenance of the rule of law itself. To hold that the court might turn a blind eye to executive lawlessness beyond the frontiers of its own jurisdiction was an insular and unacceptable view.

Having then taken cognisance of the lawlessness it would be a wholly inadequate response for the court to hold that the only remedy lay in civil proceedings at the suit of the defendant or in disciplinary or criminal proceedings against the officers who were concerned in the illegal action.

If the authorities, instead of proceedings by way of extradition, had resorted to abduction, that was the effective commencement of the prosecution process and was the illegal foundation on which it rested. It was apt to describe those circumstances as a 'degradation' of the court's criminal process.

LORD OLIVER, dissenting, said that a criminal court should not be concerned to entertain questions as to the propriety of anterior executive acts of the law enforcement agencies which had no bearing on the fairness or propriety of the trial process or the ability of the accused to defend himself against charges properly brought against him.

LORD LOWRY concurred with Lord Griffiths. LORD SLYNN agreed.

Ying Hui Tan, Barrister

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Teacher

£110 - £125 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...

Year 2 Teacher and Group Lead

£110 - £125 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Teaching Assistants urgently r...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £135 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:We are looking for a ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week