Ben Joyes acts for requested person in successful challenge to extradition - Hungary v L

22 May 2024

In a recent judgment, District Judge Leong (DJ) discharged Mr L, finding that his extradition would be disproportionate (s.21A(1)(b) EA 2023) and would violate his rights under Article 8 ECHR (s.21A(1)(a) EA 2023). Mr L was alleged to have conspired with a public official to forge a passport, with reports indicating that he would receive a minimum sentence of one year’s imprisonment.

The DJ attributed significant weight to the evidence of Hungarian lawyer Dr Gyorgy Szabo. Dr Szabo explained that the sentencing court has discretion to reduce the minimum term to less than a year, and that any sentence would almost certainly be suspended. Despite the DJ noting the seriousness of the offence, the likelihood of a non-custodial penalty meant that extradition would be disproportionate.

Regarding Article 8, the Court also heard live evidence from three expert medical witnesses, including Dr Jessica Crumpton. Dr Crumpton expressed the view that the deterioration of Mr L’s wife's mental health post-extradition would make it difficult for her to meet all of their children’s needs and increase their vulnerabilities.

The CPS will not appeal the DJ’s decision.

Mr L was represented by Ben Joyes, who was instructed by Shyan MacTavish of Hodge Jones & Allen.