Lords to hear about real life extradition experiences
Four witnesses with close experience of the extradition process will share their views with the House of Lords Select Committee examining Extradition Law on Wednesday 26 October.
At 10.10am, the Committee will hear from:
- Graham Mitchell, who was prosecuted for attempted murder in Portugal in 1994-5, acquitted at trial and released but subsequently the subject of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by Portugal, seeking his extradition to face charges based on the same facts as the original prosecution;
- Julia O'Dwyer, the mother of Richard O'Dwyer whose extradition was sought by the United States on accusations of online copyright infringement;
- Jodie Blackstock, the Director of Criminal and EU Justice Policy at JUSTICE, a law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system, particularly with regard to extradition issues; and
- Mike Evans, a solicitor and Extradition Manager at Kaim Todner Solicitors, a firm specialising in representing individuals in all categories of extradition cases.
The Committee will ask the witnesses questions on issues including:
- their experiences of the extradition process and why they fought extradition rather than facing the charges in the requesting country;
- their views on legal aid and whether they think access to it should be means tested in extradition cases;
- their experiences of, and opinions on, the EAW system;
- whether the forthcoming removal of the automatic right to appeal will remove an important safeguard against wrongful extradition, or whether it will provide a sensible way of filtering out hopeless cases; and
- as a result of their own experiences, any suggestions they might have on improving the extradition process to lessen the impact on the requested person, whilst still allowing justice to take its course.
The evidence sessions will take place on Wednesday 26 November at 10.10am in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords.
The sessions will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and are also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.