Results tagged “UK Supreme Court”

The UK Supreme Court Judgment in the case of Ian Norris, the former head of Morgan Crucible plc, has been published and is available online:

Norris (Appellant) v Government of United States of America (Respondent) (.pdf)

The Times reports: Industry chief loses six-year US extradition battle

This case yet again shows how the Extradition Act 2003 makes it, in practice, impossible for Judges to apply the Human Rights Act / European Convention on Human Rights Article 8 (""Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.") to appeals in Extradition cases.

However they seem happy enough to do so, in cases of Expulsions or Deportations under Immigration laws or for convicted foreign nationals.

This is bad news for the Gary McKinnon case, which is to be Judicially Reviewed in May.

For no good reason the UK Supreme Court Law Lords also seem unwilling to defend British sovereignty, in cases, like that of Ian Norris or the NatWest 3 bankers (referred to as the Bermingham case in this Judgment) or, of course, Gary McKinnon, where someone could be been tried in a British Court, rather than a United States one.

67. Extradition proceedings should not become the occasion for a debate about the most convenient forum for criminal proceedings. Rarely, if ever, on an issue of proportionality, could the possibility of bringing criminal proceedings in this jurisdiction be capable of tipping the scales against extradition in accordance with this country's treaty obligations. Unless the judge reaches the conclusion that the scales are finely balanced he should not enter into an enquiry as to the possibility of prosecution in this country.

Why ever not ? There is no universal principle of international law that demands this at all, and many countries do not allow extradition of their nationals to foreign jurisdictions under any circumstances - they conduct a trial in the home country.

Gary McKinnon and his family and supporters are yet again awaiting a legal procedural decision about whether or not his case can go forward to be heard by the new UK Supreme Court, or not.

This decision (made behind closed doors, by the legal bureaucracy) is expected tomorrow, Friday 9th October 2009 at 9am.

In theory , even then, the actual Supreme Court could decide to listen to the application to be heard, and then reject this, much as the European court of Human Rights in Strasbourg did., but hopefully, the behind the scenes legal network will have sorted things out and if , given the legal precedent of the Ian Norris case, permission is granted to apply to the UK Supreme Court, then there should be no reason for them to refuse to hear the case.

When they hear it, is another matter.

The USA extradition case of Ian Norris, which also has human rights and medical aspects (prostate cancer), is scheduled to be heard by the new UK Supreme Court on the 30th November 2009. - see the schedule of future sittings (.pdf)

If permission is granted tomorrow, then that would make it unlikely for the Supreme Court to try to squeeze Gary McKinnon's case in this Michaelmas Term (Thursday 1st October 2009 to Monday 21st December 2009), unless, of course, the Home Office try to deport him to the USA anyway.

It is more likely that they will schedule a hearing for the Hilary Term (Monday 11th January 2010 to Wednesday 31st March 2010), or even later.

The British and Irish Legal Information Institute have published the text of the two combined Judicial Review Judgments made against Gary McKinnon which were handed down on Friday 31st July 2009:

McKinnon, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Home Affairs [2009] EWHC 2021 (Admin) (31 July 2009)

Neutral Citation Number: [2009] EWHC 2021 (Admin)
Case Nos.: CO/9914/2008 and CO/4801/2009


Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

B e f o r e :


- and -


And Between

THE QUEEN on the application of

- and -


Edward Fitzgerald QC and Ben Cooper (instructed by Kaim Todner LLP) for the Claimant
Hugo Keith QC (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Secretary of State for Home Affairs
David Perry QC and Clair Dobbin instructed by the CPS for the Director of Public Prosecutions
Hearing dates: 9, 10 June 2009; 14 July 2009

The Judges rejected Gary McKinnon's lawyers' arguments against the Director of Public Prosecutions

47 However, it is not for this Court to decide where he should be prosecuted. The decision is that of the DPP. As appears from the preceding paragraphs of this judgment, he cannot be faulted for considering that, other things being equal, the Claimant should be prosecuted in the USA. His opinion that the criminality of the Claimant's offending cannot fully be investigated here cannot be challenged: it is not said to be perverse, and I cannot see any basis on which it could be challenged as such.

and they also rejected their legal arguments regarding the Home Secretary / Home Office.

However they do seem to have allowed for the possibility of a Human Rights Act Article 8 (the right to privacy in communications and family life) judicial review, because of the successful appeal to the House of Lords of Ian Norris (the former chairman of Morgan Crucible plc) , in another case involving extradition to the USA, who is accused of alleged "price fixing" in the USA, for actions which were not, at the time, illegal in the UK.

95 But for the grant of leave to appeal in Norris, I would have refused to grant permission to apply for judicial review on the Article 8 ground. However, in these unusual circumstances, we propose to allow the parties to present further submissions on the question whether we should grant permission for judicial review on Article 8, while refusing judicial review on that ground.

This means that Gary's lawyers are not legally prevented from asking for permission to appeal to what used to the Law Lords, who now, as of this week, will no longer be sitting in the House of Lords, but in the new United Kingdom Supreme Court, which is physically located across Parliament Square from the Palace of Westminster in the former Middlesex Guildhall building

N.B. some of the mainstream media coverage of this has assumed incorrectly that the words "Supreme Court" mean the United States Supreme Court.

Karen Todner, Gary's solicitor, has stated that she will be applying (within the statutory 28 days) for such an appeal to be heard, however, it is by no means certain that this legal avenue will be open or successful..