Justice: Extradition to Great Britain possible after Brexit

Justice: Extradition to Great Britain possible after Brexit

A year ago the Higher Regional Court did not extradite a criminal to Great Britain. Reason: concerns about prison conditions. Now there is a completely different decision.

Criminals cannot rely on not being extradited to the UK after Brexit. According to a decision by the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Karlsruhe, prosecuted persons can be transferred.

However, the British authorities must guarantee that the conditions in a prison where a criminal is sent meet the minimum human rights requirements set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. With the decision, the Higher Regional Court declared the extradition of a British man wanted for drug trafficking to the United Kingdom permissible.

Just a year ago, the same Higher Regional Court had rejected another extradition as inadmissible and released a criminal who was also wanted for drug trafficking in Great Britain (ref.: 301 OAus 1/23). The court justified this at the time by saying that Great Britain was not prepared to answer detailed questions about prison conditions and to provide guarantees about prison conditions. These may be required between the EU and the UK if there are valid reasons to believe there is a risk to the protection of the fundamental rights of the requested person.

In the current case, however, the British authorities answered all questions and provided guarantees about the prison conditions, according to the Higher Regional Court. The court therefore held that the extradition was permissible – “despite ongoing structural deficiencies in the United Kingdom’s penal system, such as continued average overcrowding in prisons.” A risk of inhumane or degrading treatment of the person being prosecuted has been reliably eliminated (AZ: 301 OAus 136/23 – decision of February 19, 2024). According to the OLG, the decision is legally binding.

Source: Stern

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