Woodcock 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 particular character and not of assistance to the applicant. The case did not involve a single applicant, and the case did not involve domestic law (though the New Zealand law was not dissimilar). Although the case was exceptional in the delay, there is no absolute rule to set any time limit, and the appeal failed. The approach in New Zealand appeared similar to our own. A stay on the ground of delay in our domestic courts is only properly granted when ‘there really is evidence of prejudice to the extent that a fair trial could not be held’.

The Right Honourable Lord Justice Simon Brown The Honourable Mr Justice Royce
[2003] EWHC 2668 (Admin), Times 27-Nov-2003, [2004] 1 WLR 1979, [2004] 1 All ER 678
Extradition Act 1989 11(9)
England and Wales
DistinguishedRegina v B CACD 2003
The court allowed an appeal against conviction on charges of sex abuse where the underlying offences had taken place many years before. ‘In this case it has to be recognised that because of the delay that occurred, in our judgment the appellant was . .
CitedRegina v Dutton CACD 1994
The case involved an allegation of sex abuse committed against a young boy who then made no complaint until he was 29, twenty years after the first offence and 14 years after the last offence alleged against the defendant. There was no apparent . .

Cited by:
CitedGomes 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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 23 December 2021; Ref: scu.187789