CASE SUMMARY: Litwinczuk v Circuit Court in Szczecin Poland [2019] EWHC 2745 (Admin)

23rd Oct 2019

Background facts

The appellant appealed against an order for his extradition to Poland to be prosecuted for a charge of attempting to defraud by sending false emails.

Grounds of appeal

The question on appeal was whether the trial judge had been wrong in deciding the appellant’s extradition was not barred by section 12A of the Extradition Act 2003, which bars extradition in the absence of a decision to charge or a decision to try in the requesting state

The judge at first instance had relied on the contents of the EAW alone in making his determination under section 12A. The judge regarded the EAW as ‘crystal clear’ in resolving any issue under section 12A as to whether a decision to charge had been made.

Court’s decision and reasoning

  1. Following a comprehensive review of the authorities, Knowles J allowed the appeal, holding that the judge had erred in solely looking to the original EAW in his assessment of the section 12A arguments and ignoring the further information from the issuing judicial authority. The effect of the case law following the Supreme Court’s decision in Golochowski ([2016] UKSC 36) was that “further information is to be treated as if it were part of – in other words, incorporated into – the EAW” [at 23].  When taken together, the EAW and the additional information make it clear that there were reasonable grounds for believing that the relevant authorities in Poland had not taken the decision to charge the appellant, satisfying the first stage of the section 12A test. At this point the judge should have embarked on the second stage of the test.
  2. The court invited counsel to jointly draft a list of questions to be submitted to the issuing judicial authority in line with section 12A(1)(b) to be approved by the court and subsequently transmitted by the CPS.

Jasvinder Nakhwal
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7822 7753

Nick Vamos
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7822 7776