The defendant faced extradition to the USA on charges of the obstruction of justice. He challenged the extradition on the basis that it would interfere with his article 8 rights to family life, given that the offence was merely ancillary, the result would be disproportionate. The court was asked whether in order to found such a claim the defendant had to show exceptional, or ‘striking and unusual’ circumstances.
Held: The appeal failed. Only the gravest effects of interference with family life would make extradition disproportionate to the public interest in the prevention of crime. The use of such a claim as a bar to an extradition claim had not previously succeeded. However, the gravity of the alleged crime was important, and both the situation of family members affected by an extradition, and the availability of a trial system which would respect a defendant’s human rights were proper considerations.
Lord Phillips said: ‘The primary object of Article 8 is to protect the individual against arbitrary action by public authorities, but it is well established that there are, in addition, positive obligations inherent in effective respect for family life. The removal of a person from a country where close members of that person’s family are living may amount to an infringement of the right to respect for family life . . In determining whether interference by a public authority with the rights guaranteed by Article 8(1) is necessary for the purposes of Article 8(2), regard must be had to the fair balance which has to be struck between the competing interests of the individual and of the community as a whole . . In this case the balance has to be struck in the context of a bilateral extradition treaty providing for the surrender of persons alleged to have committed extraditable crimes. It hardly needs to be said that there is a strong public interest in international co-operation for the prevention and punishment of crime. Consequently, the public interest in the implementation of extradition treaties is an extremely important factor in the assessment of proportionality . . As a result, in cases of extradition, interference with family life may easily be justified under Article 8(2) on the basis that it is necessary in a democratic society for the prevention of crime.
Lord Phillips, President, Lord Hope, Deputy President, Lord Rodger, Lady Hale, Lord Brown, Lord Mance, Lord Judge, Lord Collins, Lord Kerr
 UKSC 9, UKSC 2009/0052,  2 All ER 267,  2 WLR 572,  Lloyd’s Rep FC 325,  2 AC 487
Bailii, Times, SC, SC Summ, Bailii Summary
Extradition Act 2003, European Convention on Human Rights 8
England and Wales
See Also – Norris v United States of America and others HL 12-Mar-2008
The detainee appealed an order for extradition to the USA, saying that the offence (price-fixing) was not one known to English common law. The USA sought his extradition under the provisions of the Sherman Act.
Held: It was not, and it would . .
Appeal from – Norris v Government of The United States of America and Another Admn 15-May-2009
Cited – Soering v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Jul-1989
(Plenary Court) The applicant was held in prison in the UK, pending extradition to the US to face allegations of murder, for which he faced the risk of the death sentence, which would be unlawful in the UK. If extradited, a representation would be . .
Cited – HG v Switzerland ECHR 6-Sep-1994
The Commission considered the admissibility of a complaint by a Turkish national that extradition from Switzerland to Turkey to serve a sentence imposed for kidnapping and raping a 14 year old girl would infringe article 3 because of Turkish prison . .
Cited – Raidl v Austria ECHR 4-Sep-1995
The Commission considered the admissibility of a claim that extradition to Russia on suspicion of murder had infringed the applicant’s Convention rights. After finding ill-founded a complaint based on article 3 the Commission went on to consider the . .
Cited – Launder v The United Kingdom ECHR 8-Dec-1997
The Commission considered the admissibility of a complaint that the United Kingdom would violate articles 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 if it extradited him to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Held: The application was manifestly ill-founded: . .
Cited – Chahal v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Nov-1996
Proper Reply Opportunity Required on Deportation
(Grand Chamber) The claimant was an Indian citizen who had been granted indefinite leave to remain in this country but whose activities as a Sikh separatist brought him to the notice of the authorities both in India and here. The Home Secretary of . .
Cited – Boultif v Switzerland ECHR 2-Aug-2001
The applicant complained under Article 8 that the Swiss authorities had not renewed his residence permit, after which he had been separated from his wife, a Swiss citizen and who could not be expected to follow him to Algeria. Switzerland argued . .
Cited – Uner v The Netherlands ECHR 18-Oct-2006
(Grand Chamber) The court considered the application of article 8 considerations in extradition and similar proceedings, and said: ‘the best interests and well-being of the children, in particular the seriousness of the difficulties which any . .
Cited – Saadi v Italy (United Kingdom intervening) ECHR 28-Feb-2008
(Grand Chamber) When considering the appropriateness of a deportation order to a country with which the deporting country had a memorandum of understanding that the destination country would not torture the deportee, a court must look beyond the . .
Cited – Regina v Special Adjudicator ex parte Ullah; Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 17-Jun-2004
The applicants had had their requests for asylum refused. They complained that if they were removed from the UK, their article 3 rights would be infringed. If they were returned to Pakistan or Vietnam they would be persecuted for their religious . .
Cited – Regina v Sectretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Razgar etc HL 17-Jun-2004
The claimant resisted removal after failure of his claim for asylum, saying that this would have serious adverse consequences to his mental health, infringing his rights under article 8. He appealed the respondent’s certificate that his claim was . .
Cited – Huang v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 21-Mar-2007
Appellate Roles – Human Rights – Families Split
The House considered the decision making role of immigration appellate authorities when deciding appeals on Human Rights grounds, against refusal of leave to enter or remain, under section 65. In each case the asylum applicant had had his own . .
Cited – Bermingham and others v The Director of the Serious Fraud Office QBD 21-Feb-2006
Prosecution to protect defendant not available
The claimants faced extradition to the US. They said that the respondent had infringed their human rights by deciding not to prosecute them in the UK. There was no mutuality in the Act under which they were to be extradited.
Held: The Director . .
Cited – AG (Eritrea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 20-Nov-2007
The threshold requirement referable to the nature of the consequences was ‘not a specially high one’
Sedley LJ discussed the Huang case: ‘The effect of their Lordships’ decision (and, if we may say so, the intended effect of this court’s . .
Cited – Norris v United States of America and others; (Goldshield Group plc intervening) Admn 25-Jan-2007
The defendant was the former chief executive of a company manufacturing carbon products internationally. His extradition to the US was sought on the basis that he had conspired in a dishonest price-fixing conspiracy.
Held: The secrecy of such . .
Cited – Jaso and others v Central Criminal Court No.2 Madrid Admn 14-Dec-2007
The Madrid Court had issued European Arrest Warrants against the three appellants on charges of membership of a criminal organisation and terrorism. The appellants had unsuccessfully challenged extradition before the District Judge on a large number . .
Cited – EB (Kosovo) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 25-Jun-2008
The claimant arrived as a child from Kosovo in 1999. He said that the decision after so long, it would breach his human rights now to order his return.
Held: The adjudicator had failed to address the effect of delay. That was a relevant . .
Cited – King v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Jan-2010
Mr King was accused of being a member of a gang engaged in a conspiracy to import large quantities of ecstasy into Australia. He appealed against extradition saying that this would interfere with his article 8 rights. He had in the United Kingdom . .
Cited – Syed Tahla Ahsan v The United Kingdom ECHR 13-Feb-2009
Cited – BeokuBetts v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 25-Jun-2008
The appellant had arrived from Sierra Leone and obtained student permits. When they expired he sought asylum, citing his family’s persecution after a coup, and that fact that other members of his family now had indefinite leave, and he said that an . .
Cited – McCann v The United Kingdom ECHR 9-Sep-2008
The local authority had determined Mr McCann’s right to remain in his home by obtaining from his wife a notice to quit, the effect of which (surrendering their joint tenancy) upon him she did not understand. He said that this interfered with his . .
Cited – HH v Deputy Prosecutor of The Italian Republic, Genoa SC 20-Jun-2012
In each case the defendant sought to resist European Extradition Warrants saying that an order would be a disporportionate interference in their human right to family life. The Court asked whether its approach as set out in Norris, had to be amended . .
Cited – BH and Another v The Lord Advocate and Another SC 20-Jun-2012
The appellants wished to resist their extradition to the US to face criminal charges for drugs. As a married couple that said that the extraditions would interfere with their children’s rights to family life.
Held: The appeals against . .
Cited – Hesham Ali (Iraq) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 16-Nov-2016
The appellant, an Iraqi national had arrived in 2000 as a child, and stayed unlawfully after failure of his asylum claim. He was convicted twice of drugs offences. On release he was considered a low risk of re-offending. He had been in a serious . .
Cited – Lord 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 . .
Cited – Goldtrail Travel Ltd v Onur Air Tasimacilik As SC 2-Aug-2017
At first instance the appellant had dishonestly assisted another party to defraud the respondent, and ordered payment of substantial damages. The defendant, non-resident, sought to appeal, and the respondent asked the court to order payment into . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Extradition, Human Rights
Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.401788