28 2 mins 11 yrs

Let’s be grateful for one small mercy, because the worst monarch in our history remains clueless.

Offenders fighting deportation are able to use human rights defences to avoid removal whereas Britons facing transfer under extradition laws find it almost impossible to do so, the joint committee on human rights suggested […]

The MPs said the UK’s extradition policies do not provide “effective protection” for citizens and called, in particular, for the agreement between the UK and US to be renegotiated.

The contrast in the rights of Britons accused of crimes and foreign convicts is at its starkest in extradition cases within Europe … In contrast, foreign criminals who are facing deportation do not fall under a similar system and are often able to argue their removal will breach their right to a family life or that they face torture or abuse on their return.

It’s a start at least for our tribunes to recognise that convicted foreign criminals have a liberty under the law denied to innocent Britons, though their suggested resolution is predictably anemic. Neither the European Arrest Warrant nor extradition treaty with the US abide with our ancient traditions and customs and, therefore, ought to be torn up. For now that’s all that’s necessary: just tear them up.

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  1. Those Brits who engage in international financial and computer crimes from a UK base wholeheartedly agree!

  2. In addition your average asylum seeker gets Legal Aid. No average Brit will qualify.
    Ergo the Average Brit is doubly handicapped.

  3. –It’s a start at least for our tribunes to recognise that convicted foreign criminals have a liberty under the law denied to innocent Britons–

    That should read presumed innocent under the law

    Someone who has indeed committed a crime is not innocent of it at any time afterward, he is only presumed innocent until guilt has been ” proven ” in our imperfect legal system

  4. Well, lawyers here do a certain amount of pro bono work – it is expected

    Having this at taxpayer expense is quite interesting. You get to pay twice for your own destruction – via legal aid costs and the costs of the agencies trying to deport the deadbeat. All that money and all those manhours expended.

    Nice work.

  5. Actually, you pay five ways?

    costs of legal aid

    costs of the immigration agency

    costs of the court itself

    welfare costs to house and feed the ” asylum seeker ” while the case is meandering through the system

    medical care for the ” asylum seeker “

  6. Don’t forget no 6

    Compensation costs if the “Asylum Seeker” is found to have had his “Human Rights” breached

  7. Phantom –

    Anyone engaged in cross-border crime probably would agree.

    So would those who think that before someone is taken into custody or extradited, the prosecuting authority ought to submit evidence associating that person with the crime.

    Don’t you?

  8. Doesn’t he extradition treaty at issue provide for (1) the customary showing before an arrest and (2) the individual under arrest has all the basic rights afforded a defendant in their home nation.

  9. Mahons –

    The 2003 US/UK extradition treaty removed the requirement for US authorities to provide prima facie evidence when requesting an extradition. It’s unbalanced also in that the requirement remains for UK authorities seeking an extradition the other way.

    Under the treaty, US authorities have to do little more than state the alleged offence and identify a suspect for an extradition to happen.

  10. pete – I read the treay (it is actually on line and fairly simple). it doesn’t seem as one sided as you suggest or have been led to believe.

    The US authorities still have to go to Court for their arrest warrant which requires a certain showing and is more difficult when there is extraadcition issues involved.

  11. Mahons –

    The treaty was given force by the Extradition Act 2003, which goes further than the treaty itself:


    The outcome is as Liberty described it:


    “The Extradition Act 2003 created a system of fast track processing of extradition applications. This means that British citizens can be removed from the UK to many jurisdictions without the need for a court to hear that there is any evidence against them.”

  12. The extradiction treaty between our nations is different and requires the state meet the customary burden for arrest warrant (which is not the same standard as an arraignment or trial). And the accused has all the customary rights to challenge same. In addition, this is a treaty between the US and the UK, not between North Korea and the UK, two similar systems.

  13. Mahons –

    The customary burden for extradition is evidence presented in a court. This has been negated by the treaty and 2003 Act.

    Having recent and close up experience of federal prosecutors in action I sincerely hope our system does not stink as much as your system.

  14. Pete

    I’d be interested in hearing more about that, perhaps in a side discussion

    Federal and state prosecutors can and do abuse their powers at times.

    Eliot Spitzer in NY State certainly abused his when he was Attorney General, but everyone was cool with that when he was going after low level financial industry types

  15. Pete – The customary burden is not evidence in the sense of burden of proof needed for conviction, but rather reasonable suspicion or probable cause which is needed for an arrest. I’m not sure what your reference to “close up” experience means, but Federal Prosecutors have a pretty good record here.

  16. Phantom – the occasion of prosecutorial misconduct does not mean it pervades the system. The overwhelming majority of those convicted deserve to be convicted.

  17. Phantom –

    No problem, any time, but it would have to be a side discussion for obvious reasons. I mentioned it briefly at the London summit with David Vance but that was back in … however long ago it was and no-one remembers everything they hear in the pub.

    Mahons –

    Agreed that the burden of evidence for an extradition is lower than for a conviction, but as it stands US prosecutors don’t have to present any evidence. All they need so is outline the crime and identity a suspect.

  18. I heard of very bad abuses with Spitzer

    Such as hauling low level types into his office without benefit of counsel, telling them that they had 45 minutes to accept a deal, or they would face prosecution by the state.

    This was a terrifying prospect, and some understandably buckled, and had their careers destroyed over it.

    Those who stood up to him all won in the courtroom, but there are very few who have the financial resources to take on NY State in a courtroom.

  19. Phantom – all anyone had to do was invoke the right to counsel, which he would have had to advise them of, before he could even talk to them. he was a prick, but hardly representative.

  20. Pete – They need provide the basis for a reasonable suspicion, same requirement they need to obtain a warrant, and have that warrent signed by a Judge who must be convinced there is a basis for the reasonable suspicion. In addition, the requested nation does not have to give up anyone if they deem the request is political. The accused is then afforded the same rights as any accused, which are substantial.

  21. Understood – and it is understood that NY law and custom makes prosecutorial misconduct easier here than in other states.

    The Spitzer abuses happened during hisreign of terror period, when he enjoyed great public support. Many on this site would have applauded these abuses, since the victims were all white collar finance guys who they would presume to be guilty.

  22. I’m in two minds over the US system, on the one hand I generally favour more localised democracy than we have in the UK but when I see the way many American DAs and AGs act I wonder whether it inevitably brings in overly political prosecutions.

    The Nifong case is the most famous, but he’s hardly unique in the way he behaved (althougn he was nearly unique in being punished for his misconduct):


  23. How come Captain Hook is still in the UK then? Why can’t we get rid of HIM by the fast track? I’d be happy to dance on his grave but waving him bye bye will do instead.

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