Peters & Peters acted for Justice, an independent human rights and law reform organisation, on an intervention to the Supreme Court in an extradition appeal. The appeal, which has lasted for four days was heard by the Supreme Court between Monday 5 March and Thursday 7 March 2012 and involved three joined appeals (two from England and one from Scotland).
The intervention in the appeal from the decision in HH & PH v Deputy Prosecutor of the Italian Republic, Genoa  EWHC 1145 (Admin) relates to the protection of the ECHR Article 8 rights of the children of defendants facing extradition. Justice’s main submission was that, in order to ensure the Article 8 rights of each child affected by the extradition are properly safeguarded, the Supreme Court must modify the approach set out in Norris v Government of USA (No. 2)  2 AC 487 in light of ZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  2 WLR 148.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Norris set out the principle that extradition will not be considered to be a disproportionate interference with Article 8 rights unless it results in “exceptionally serious consequences” or an “exceptionally compelling feature” giving rise to “the gravest effects of interference with family life”. Since the decision in Norris, no domestic court has found that extradition of a parent would result in the disproportionate interference with a child’s Article 8 rights.
Justice submitted that Norris must be clarified or modified with respect to its application to children’s rights as distinct from those of the person facing extradition to reflect the obligation to make children’s rights a primary consideration as required by the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Justice, which is the British section of the International Commission of Jurists, has a long history of intervening in important matters of public interest, particularly those concerning the protection of fundamental rights. The team at Peters & Peters was led by Justice council member, Anand Doobay, assisted principally by Rachel Cook. They instructed Alex Bailin QC, Mark Summers and Aaron Watkins of Matrix Chambers.