Brextradition: extradition proceedings in a post-Brexit environment

14/02/2017

Brexit is set to have a significant impact on extradition between Ireland and Britain, writes Ray Briscoe in the Jan/Feb 2017 Gazette.

The EAW System

In January 2004, the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system came into force, replacing complicated, unilateral-based extradition systems across the EU. It offered a unified and streamlined method whereby the 28 member states could surrender individuals who were accused or convicted of crimes in another state.

Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions in England and Wales, recently revealed that it is “three times faster to use an EAW, and it is four times less expensive” than extraditing suspects or criminals through the older systems.

Extradition after Brexit

Ironically, a Brexit settlement aimed at increasing controls on the free movement of people could end up decreasing controls on the movement of criminals, writes Ray Briscoe, a principal prosecution solicitor and deputy head of the Superior Courts section in the Office of the DPP (Mr Briscoe is writing in a personal capacity – the opinions expressed in the article are solely the author’s and do not purport to represent the position of the DPP’s office).

It will come as no surprise to learn that Ireland’s largest ‘trading partner’ for EAWs is Britain. So how will Ireland conduct this extradition business post-Brexit? Briscoe argues that Britain entering into a harmonised EAW-style system with the 27 remaining EU member states after Brexit would be a preferred option. Another possible, but unviable, outcome would be for Ireland and Britain to fall back on pre-existing extradition arrangements. In the Jan/Feb Gazette, Briscoe goes through the potential systems for processing extraditions between a post-Brexit Britain and Ireland in detail.

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