In re Guisto (application for a writ of Habeas Corpus) (Criminal Appeal from Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice): HL 3 Apr 2003

The applicant challenged an order for his extradition to the US. He had been convicted in his absence having absconded from bail.
Held: He had been arrested and held on the basis that he was a convicted person, but the procedure should have allowed that having been convicted in his absence, in contumacy, he should have been held on the basis that he was unconvicted. His detention was unlawful, and he was to be released.
Lord Hope said: ‘It is a fundamental point of principle that any use of the procedures that exist for depriving a person of his liberty must be carefully scrutinised.’


Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe


[2003] UKHL 19, Times 08-Apr-2003, Gazette 12-Jun-2003, [2004] 1 AC 101, [2003] 2 All ER 647, [2003] 2 WLR 1089


House of Lords, Bailii


Extradition Act 1989, United States of America (Extradition) Order 1976 (SI 1976/2144)


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Governor of Brixton Prison, ex parte Caborn-Waterfield QBD 1960
When an accused person is committed under the first paragraph of section 10 and surrendered to a foreign government he is surrendered for trial. Before that course is taken the magistrate has to be satisfied that a prima facie case is made out. When . .
CitedRegina v Governor of Pentonville Prison, ex parte Zezza HL 1983
In the context of an application for extradition, where the conviction was a ‘conviction for contumacy’ that phrase is not defined. It does not have an ordinary meaning in the English language. ‘Contumacy’ indicates insubordination or disobedience . .
CitedIn re Coppin 1866
The French sought to extradite Coppin who had been convicted by a court in Paris in his absence in a conviction ‘par contumace’. That conviction might be annulled if he surrendered to the court’s jurisdiction, when he would be tried again for the . .
CitedIn re Nielsen HL 1984
The House considered the role of the metropolitan magistrate under section 9 and 10 of the 1870 Act in the context of an application for extradition under the treaty between Denmark and the United Kingdom. At section 9 hearings it had been the . .
CitedGovernment of the United States of America v McCaffery HL 1984
Extradition was sought under the Treaty between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the United States of America. It was an ‘exceptional accusation case’, because article III of the Treaty provides that, in addition to the . .

Cited by:

CitedVon Der Pahlen v Government of Austria Admn 27-Jun-2006
The defendant resisted extradition to Austria saying that the warrant was defective. The claimant said that generalised charges were sufficient.
Held: ‘The language of section 2(4)(c) is not obscure and, in my judgment, it should be given its . .
CitedCaldarelli v Court of Naples HL 30-Jul-2008
The appellant challenged his extradition saying that the European Arrest Warrant under which he was held wrongly said that he was convicted, whilst he said he was wanted for trial. He had been tried in his absence, and the judgment and sentence were . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Extradition

Updated: 07 June 2022; Ref: scu.180416