Bucnys v Ministry of Justice: SC 20 Nov 2013

The Court considered requests made by European Arrest Warrants for the surrender under Part 1 of the Extradition Act 2003 of three persons wanted to serve sentences imposed upon their conviction in other member states of the European Union. The court was asked whether the requests are open to challenge on the basis that (i) they were not the product of a ‘judicial decision’ by a ‘judicial authority’ within the terms of the Framework Decision and/or of Part 1 of the United Kingdom Extradition Act 2003, and (ii) the ministries making them did not have the function of issuing domestic arrest warrants and were incorrectly certified by SOCA under section 2(7) of the 2003 Act. If a challenge is open on either or both of these bases, the third question is (iii) whether the challenge is on the evidence well-founded in the case of either or both of the Ministries. The appellants said that the relevant ministries of justice were not properly ‘judicial authority’.
Held: The EAWs issued for Bucnys and Lavrov were effective, but not that for Sakalis.
The framework decision did not give member states carte blance to define ‘judicial authority’ as it liked. The concept was derived for the Union Treaty which distinguished between ‘ministries’ and ‘judicial authorities’. The use of this defintion served to bring objectivity, enhancing confidence in the system.
Where an EAW was issued to obtain the surrender of a convicted person by a ministry at the request of or with the endorsement of a sentencing court or other judicial authority responsible for execution of the sentence, then any discretion not to issue does not undermine the request.

Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson
[2014] 1 AC 480, [2013] UKSC 71, [2013] WLR(D) 446, [2013] 3 WLR 1485, [2014] 2 All ER 235, UKSC 2012/0248
Bailii, WLRD, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary
Extradition Act 2003, Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA
England and Wales
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CitedGoatley v Her Majesty’s Advocate and Another HCJ 12-Jul-2006
. .
CitedHarmatos v King’s Prosecutor In Dendermond, Belgium Admn 24-May-2011
. .
CitedPepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart HL 26-Nov-1992
Reference to Parliamentary Papers behind Statute
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CitedFrance v Commission ECJ 9-Aug-1994
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CitedOffice of the King’s Prosecutor, Brussels v Cando Armas and others HL 17-Nov-2005
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CitedEman and Sevinger (European Citizenship) ECJ 12-Sep-2006
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CitedDabas v High Court of Justice, Madrid HL 28-Feb-2007
The defendant sought to appeal his extradition to Spain to face terrorism charges. He complained that the certificate required under the 2003 Act could not be the European arrest warrant itself, that the offence did not satisfy the double . .
CitedKozlowski (Police And Judicial Cooperation In Criminal Matters) ECJ 17-Jul-2008
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CitedLouca v A German Judicial Authority SC 19-Nov-2009
The defendant resisted extradition saying that the European Arrest Warrant was defective in not revealing the existence of two earlier such warrants. He said that absence of such information would hinder a court which was concerned as to possible . .
CitedMantello (Police And Judicial Cooperation In Criminal Matters) ECJ 7-Sep-2010
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CitedAssange v Swedish Prosecution Authority Admn 2-Nov-2011
The defendant argued that he should not be extradited under a European Arest warrant to Sweden to face allegations of serious sexual assaults. He argued that the prosecutor requesting the extradition was not a judicial authority, that some offences . .
CitedAssange v The Swedish Prosecution Authority SC 30-May-2012
The defendant sought to resist his extradition under a European Arrest Warrant to Sweden to face charges of sexual assaults. He said that the prosecutor who sought the extradition was not a judicial authority within the Framework Decision.
Appeal fromMinistry of Justice, Lithuania v Bucnys Admn 12-Oct-2012
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Updated: 26 November 2021; Ref: scu.518305