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Public law and Regulation

Case reports and guidance on public law and professional regulation issues

18 AUG 2015

Pogorzelski v Regional Court in Warsaw, Poland [2015] EWHC 1076 (Admin); (2015) PLLR 031

Pogorzelski v Regional Court in Warsaw, Poland [2015] EWHC 1076 (Admin); (2015) PLLR 031
Immigration – Extradition – Article 8

The Appellant was to be extradited to Poland under three European Arrest Warrants. Those warrants related to:

(i) an 11 month and 29 day sentence for the theft of a mobile phone;
(ii) a sentence of one year for the theft of a laptop; and
(iii) an eight month and twenty eight day sentence for intentionally handling stolen property.

The Appellant argued that, in relation to the first arrest warrant, it would be unfair and oppressive to extradite him as so much time had passed since the offence. In relation to the third arrest warrant, the Appellant argued that the conviction occurred without him being present and there was no guarantee of a retrial. In relation to all three arrest warrants, the Appellant argued that his and his family’s Article 8 rights would be unlawfully interfered with if the extradition occurred. The Administrative Court accepted the argument in relation to the third arrest warrant, but rejected all of the other arguments.

24 April 2015

Administrative Court

Holroyde J

1. The Appellant was to be extradited to Poland under three European Arrest Warrants. Those warrants related to:

(i) an 11 month and 29 day sentence for the theft of a mobile phone;
(ii) a sentence of one year for the theft of a laptop; and
(iii) an eight month and twenty eight day sentence for intentionally handling stolen property.

2. The judge had initially found that the Appellant failed in his duty to inform the Polish authorities of the details of his UK residence. The judge also held that the Polish judicial authority did not prove that the Appellant deliberately failed to attend his trial for the offence contained within the third arrest warrant and he would thus be entitled to a retrial. The Appellant’s extradition was therefore ordered. The Appellant contested that decision in this case.

ISSUES:

3. The Appellant argued that, in relation to the first arrest warrant, it would be unfair and oppressive to extradite him as so much time had passed since the offence.

4. In relation to the third arrest warrant, the Appellant argued that there was no guarantee of a retrial or opportunity of appeal.

5. In relation to all three arrest warrants, the Appellant argued that his and his family’s Article 8 rights would be unlawfully interfered with if the extradition occurred.

DETERMINATION:

6. The Administrative Court accepted the argument in relation to the third arrest warrant, but rejected all of the other arguments.

7. In relation to the argument that extradition under the first warrant would be unfair and oppressive to extradite him as so much time had passed since the offence, the Court was unconvinced that this was a credible point of challenge given that the Appellant had not provided his address to the relevant Polish authorities, which he had a duty to do. However, the Court did accept that there was no guarantee that the Appellant would be entitled to a retrial or appeal in relation to the offence contained within the third arrest warrant. The evidence suggested that his conviction for the relevant offence had, in fact, become final. The Appellant had certainly not been provided with any information to the effect that he would be entitled to a retrial or appeal. The Court held that the Appellant had to be discharged from extradition in relation to the third arrest warrant.

8. In relation to the Article 8 argument, it was plain that the Article 8 rights of the Appellant and his family were engaged. However, the interference was justified by the importance of extradition.

Key Paragraphs

[36]-[40] – Extradition did not become unfair or oppressive due to the passage of time.

[43]-[48] – It could not be said that the Appellant would be entitled to a retrial or appeal in Poland.

[59] – The Article 8 interference was not disproportionate.
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