Gomes v Trinidad and Tobago: HL 29 Apr 2009

Each appellant challenged orders for their extradition, saying that the delay had been too prolonged, and that detention in Trinidad’s appalling jails would be an infringement of their human rights.
Held: The House had to consider its own decision in Kakis which effectively excluded delay as a consideration save in exceptional circumstances. Delay caused by the defendant’s own conduct was not a good reason for refusing extradition: ‘a substantial measure of clarity and certainty is required. If an accused . . deliberately flees the jurisdiction in which he has been bailed to appear, it simply does not lie in his mouth to suggest that the requesting state should share responsibility for the ensuing delay in bringing him to justice because of some subsequent supposed fault on their part, whether this be, as in his case, losing the file, or dilatoriness, or, as will often be the case, mere inaction through pressure of work and limited resources. We would not regard any of these circumstances as breaking the chain of causation (if this be the relevant concept) with regard to the effects of the accused’s own conduct. Only a deliberate decision by the requesting state communicated to the accused not to pursue the case against him, or some other circumstance which would similarly justify a sense of security on his part notwithstanding his own flight from justice, could allow him properly to assert that the effects of further delay were not ‘of his own choice and making’.’ The appellants in this case were classic fugitives, and could not prey the delay they had caused in support of their resistance to extradition.
Lord Brown stated: ‘The extradition process, it must be remembered, is only available for returning suspects to friendly foreign states with whom this country has entered into multilateral or bilateral treaty obligations involving mutually agreed and reciprocal commitments. The arrangements are founded on mutual trust and respect. There is a strong public interest in respecting such treaty obligations.’

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Lord Mance and Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury
[2009] 1 WLR 1038, [2009] 3 All ER 549, [2009] UKHL 21, Times 05-May-2009
Extradition Act 2003
England and Wales
Appeal fromGoodyer and Gomes v Government of Trinidad and Tobago Admn 22-Aug-2007
The applicants complained of delays in their extraditions.
Held: ‘It seems to us that, whether the concurrent fault of the requesting state is regarded as keeping the chain of causation intact, albeit attenuated, or is regarded as an . .
CitedKakis v Government of the Republic of Cyprus HL 1978
Kakis’ extradition was sought by Cyprus in relation to an EOKA killing in April 1973. Although a warrant for Kakis’ arrest had been issued that very night, he had escaped into the mountains and remained hidden for 15 months. Subsequently, he settled . .
CitedRegina v Governor of Pentonville Prison, Ex Parte Osman QBD 30-Mar-1988
The applicant had been committed to prison pending extradition proceedings brought by Hong Kong alleging substantial fraud. He challenged the committal on the grounds that since the allegations involved transmission of funds over international . .
CitedKrzyzowski v Circuit Court In Gliwice, Poland Admn 23-Nov-2007
Extradition of the defendant to Poland was sought, the court saying he had fled his trial for burglaries in 1999. The defendant argued that his extradition would now be unfair.
Held: The judge was right to hold that his ruling of deliberate . .
CitedLa Torre v Italy Admn 20-Jun-2007
Laws LJ considered the decision in Kakis and said: ‘All the circumstances must be considered in order to judge whether the unjust/oppressive test is met. Culpable delay on the part of the State may certainly colour that judgment and may sometimes be . .
CitedRegina v Osman (No 4) 1992
Where a defendant’s own conduct was taken into account in considering any delay in extradition proceedings, the court should look also at delay by the prosecutor. In borderline cases, where the accused himself is not to blame, culpable delay by the . .
CitedRegina v Governor of Pentonville Prison, Ex parte Narang; Union of India v Narang HL 1978
The House considered an extradition request.
Held: Lord Keith of Kinkel said it would be sufficient to establish the primary facts on the balance of probabilities and for the court to form an opinion upon the facts established. It was . .
CitedLisowski v Regional Court of Bialystok (Poland) Admn 28-Nov-2006
The defendant resisted extradition for a fraud prosecution brought 11 years after the relevant events which occurred in 1995. He had come to England in 2000, and the first he heard of the accusation was when he was arrested in September 2006. It was . .
CitedWoodcock v The Government of New Zealand QBD 14-Nov-2003
The applicant, a catholic priest, challenged his extradition for alleged offences of sexual abuse which had taken place in the 1980s, saying it would be an abuse now to prosecute him after such a delay.
Held: The case of R v B was of a . .
CitedSamuel Knowles, Junior v United States of America and Another PC 24-Jul-2006
(The Bahamas) The respondent sought the extradition of the appellant to face drugs charges. The appellant said that if extradited, he would not receive a fair trial, having been declared publicly by the US President to be a drugs ‘kingpin’.
CitedThe State v Boyce PC 11-Jan-2006
(Trinidad and Tobago) The judge had wrongly directed the defendant’s acquittal of manslaughter. The prosecution sought a retrial.
Held: A retrial was refused. Lord Hoffmann noted that nine years had elapsed since the incident and said: ‘Their . .

Cited by:
CitedLord Advocate (Representing The Taiwanese Judicial Authorities) v Dean SC 28-Jun-2017
(Scotland) The respondent was to be extradited to Taiwan to serve the balance of a prison term. His appeal succeeded and the order quashed on the basis that his treatment in the Taiwanese prison system would infringe his human rights. The Lord . .
CitedKonecny v District Court In Brno-Venkov, Czech Republic SC 27-Feb-2019
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Extradition, Human Rights

Updated: 10 January 2022; Ref: scu.341607