On appeal from: [2011] EWHC 1145; [2012] EWHC 25 (Admin)

The issue before the Court was whether extradition by EAW would be incompatible with the rights of the appellants’ under ECHR, art 8. HH and PH are British and respectively the mother and father of 3 children. FK is the mother of 5 children and is Polish.

Held: the appeal in FK’s case was allowed, it was dismissed unanimously in HH’s case and dismissed by a majority in PH’s case.

Examining Norris v US (No 2) [2010] UKSC 9 the following principles could be drawn out: the court must carefully examine the way in which extradition would interfere with family life, even though there was a closer analogy between extradition and the domestic criminal process than between extradition and deportation (but there was no test of exceptionality); the question was whether the interference with private and family life was outweighed by the public interest in extradition; there was a constant and weighty public interest in extradition, but this did vary according to the nature and seriousness of the crimes involved; delay may diminish the public interest element and increase the impact on family life; and lastly it was likely that the public interest will outweigh art 8 rights unless the interference was exceptionally severe.

In FK’s case, the extradition would have a severe effect on her two youngest children, and the alleged offences were of no great gravity – the interference with the children’s art 8 rights outweighed the public interest in extradition.  PH is the primary carer of his and HH’s children; HH’s alleged offences were serious and she had played a limited role in her children’s lives, and so the public interest in her extradition outweighed the interference in their children’s rights. Whilst the majority felt the same in relation to PH, Lady Hale felt that the concurrent effect on the children was such that the PH’s extradition on top of HH’s extradition was not justified.

For judgment, please download: [2012] UKSC 25
For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII