Supreme Court hands down landmark judgments in extradition cases

06 March 2024

On 6 March 2024, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in Bertino v Public Prosecutor’s Office, Italy [2024] UKSC 9 and Merticariu v Judecatoria Arad, Romania [2024] UKSC 10. This is first time in twenty years that the Supreme Court has analysed section 20 of the Extradition Act 2003, which concerns when a defendant may be extradited if tried in absence, a common feature of many European criminal justice systems. Bertino relates to circumstances in which a defendant can deliberately and knowingly waive his/her right to attend trial. Merticariu concerns the right to a retrial and holds that, in UK law, it is an entitlement to receive a retrial in the requesting state (subject to procedural requirements), and not a right to apply for a retrial.

Led by Helen Malcolm KC, Stefan Hyman of 9BR Chambers’ Extradition and Interpol Team represented the requesting states and was instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service.