CASE SUMMARY: Avadanei v France [2019] EWHC 2534 (Admin)

30th Sep 2019

Background facts

The appellant, a Romanian national, appealed against an order for his extradition to France pursuant to an accusation EAW relating to a total of 35 offences of alleged theft in an organised gang. The EAW was supplemented by two sets of further information. After receipt of the first set of further information, an adjournment was sought by the judicial authority because that information did not sufficiently clarify the number of offences for which the appellant’s surrender was sought. The second set of further information stated that the appellant had been involved in a total of eight offences. The information provided did not specify all the relevant offences and so needed to be read in conjunction with the first.

The district judge held that he was permitted to construe the EAW by reference to the further information and that there was sufficient detail therein (Alexander [2017] EWHC 1392 (Admin)).

Permission to appeal was initially refused on the papers by a single judge but a renewed application was subsequently allowed on the ground that it was arguable that the offences were not sufficiently particularised to comply with the requirements of the Extradition Act 2003, s.2. The appellant raised a further argument that the French prosecutor is not a judicial authority for the purpose of the Framework Decision or for the purposes of s.2 of the 2003 Act.

Grounds of appeal

The appellant submitted that the EAW was wholly deficient from the outset. It was further submitted that s.2(4)(c) of the 2003 Act requires the particulars of each individual offence to be specified and the DJ had failed to identify the eight offences for which he had ordered the appellant’s extradition.

The issue to be decided was on which side of the line described in the case of Alexander this case fell. Had the district judge in this case simply supplemented lacunae in a valid EAW or had he used the further information provided as a substitute for a defective EAW?

Court’s decision and reasoning

  1. The court allowed the appeal, holding that the EAW had been wholly deficient. The EAW was internally contradictory in respect of the number of offences alleged, referring to both 35 and 30 offences and providing no details about the appellant’s alleged involvement as required by s.2 of the 2003 Act. Thus, the EAW was defective as originally issued.
  2. The court went on to state that had it been required to decide whether the EAW was capable of being supplemented by further information, she would have decided that it had not been properly supplemented, as it remained unclear in relation to how many offences extradition was sought.

Jasvinder Nakhwal
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Nick Vamos
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