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Momentous Extradition Case reaches the Supreme Court: HH and PH v Deputy Prosecutor of the Italian Republic, Genoa [2012] UKSC 24

Peters & Peters acted for Justice, an independent human rights and law reform organisation, on an intervention to the Supreme Court in two extradition appeals. The case involved three joint appeals (two from England and one from Scotland). The warrants were issued by the Italian courts in the case of HH and PH, and by the Polish courts in case of FK; the requests for extradition were all made under the European Arrest Warrant system.

The question in all three cases was whether extradition would be incompatible with the rights of the appellants’ children to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal in the case of FK but rejected HH and PH’s appeals (Lady Hale dissenting in the case of PH).

The Supreme Court provided important clarity on the rights of the child in such situation, and recognised that extradition cases should not fall into a special category that would entail Article 8 rights being effectively disregarded. The court clarified that ZH Tanzaniahas a general application. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child requires that the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration, although these interests are not the primary or the paramount consideration, and that these interests can be outweighed by the cumulative effect of other considerations. The team at Peters & Peters instructed Alex Bailin QC, Mark Summers and Aaron Watkins of Matrix Chambers.

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