News Extradition 15th Mar 2018

Laura Stephenson successfully Appeals against the Extradition of a Mother accused of grievous bodily harm in Hungary

The High Court allowed an appeal against the extradition of ‘T’, who was wanted to stand trial in Hungary. T was accused of stabbing her former partner on two separate occasions. It was alleged that during one incident she caused a wound to his back that punctured his lung.

At her extradition hearing, it was argued that T’s three young children had no alternative family to care for them. A child psychologist gave evidence on the devastating effect separation from T would have on the children. Expert evidence was also presented about T’s mental state. T suffered years of terrible abuse at the hands of her former partner and was diagnosed with severe PTSD. It was argued extradition would result in a disproportionate interference with T and her children’s Article 8 rights.

The District Judge ordered T’s extradition, concluding that T’s current partner or parents in Hungary could care for her children.

On Appeal, the High Court found that the District Judge was wrong to conclude that T’s children could be cared for by T’s partner in the UK: that was a finding at odds with the clear evidence from  UK social services. The evidence pointed to the children being returned to Hungary. The High Court heard new expert evidence about the likely fate of the children there. It concluded the children would probably go into Hungarian state care, where they may be separated from each other and were unlikely to ever return to their mother.

Quashing the decision of the District Judge, Mr Justice Supperstone found that the compelling features of the case meant it should have resulted in the lower court’s refusal to order extradition due to T’s mental condition and the risk of harm to the children. The Article 8 infringements would be exceptionally serious and result in a disproportionate interference with their rights.

In T v Hungary Laura was instructed by Jessica Dunk of Sonn Macmillan Walker solicitors.

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