Benjamin is a specialist extradition and public law practitioner.
He has appeared in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, Crown Court, County Court, Magistrates’ Court, the Upper Tribunal and First Tier Tribunal. He represents UK and foreign government departments, requesting judicial authorities and individuals. He acts for interested parties at Inquests, often concerning deaths in custody, and advises on unlawful detention, prison law and national security.
Since March 2017 he has been appointed to the Attorney General’s Civil Panel of Counsel, C Panel.
Benjamin’s extradition practice concerns the validity of European Arrest Warrants, rights to retrial, dual criminality, passage of time, decisions to charge or try and also habeas corpus. In the past year he has appeared in a number of cases concerning prison conditions and the rights of individuals pursuant to Article 3 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”) in Hungary, Poland and Italy. He appeared in the only extradition case to be heard in the Supreme Court in 2018. He has had several successes recently in cases concerning Article 8 of the ECHR representing individuals whose rights to a private and family life outweighed the public interest in extradition.
Benjamin has written articles and given many seminars on extradition law.
Since his appointment to the Attorney General’s panel Benjamin has regularly appeared in the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and in the High Court in applications for judicial review. He has also appeared on behalf of the Ministry of Justice at inquests and in the County Court in relation to civil claims made by prisoners.
- Peter Duffy Human Rights Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn, 2009
- Sir Thomas More Bursary, Lincoln’s Inn, 2004
- Lord Haldane Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn, 2003
- Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn, 2003
- Choral Scholarship, St Peter’s College, Oxford 1997
Chambers & Partners 2020: Extradition- Band 3
Respected practitioner who is highlighted for his experience of handling leading prison conditions cases and difficult extradition matters. He represents foreign states, judicial authorities and individuals in extradition proceedings. Seifert is additionally praised for his complementary strength in immigration law.
Strengths: “He fights tirelessly and is extremely knowledgeable about extradition.”
Chambers & Partners 2019: Extradition- Band 3
“Extremely passionate and comes across very well in court; he presents in a very succinct way.”
“He is a pleasure to work with as he’s very helpful and always on top of the law.”
Chambers & Partners 2018: Extradition- Up and coming
“Respected practitioner who is highlighted for his experience of handling leading prison conditions cases and difficult extradition matters. Interviewees note that he is “quick to take things up” and “very strong with clients.”
Strengths: “Dedicated and enthusiastic.” “He had a very complex case with a very demanding client and the facts he had to work with weren’t great, but he was able to make the best out of what he had.”
Legal 500 2020- Level 2- Leading Junior
“He is unafraid to explore novel arguments in extradition cases”
Legal 500 2019- Level 2- Leading Junior
“Hardworking, affable and conscientious”
Legal 500 2017- Level 3- Leading Junior
“Represents requested persons in High Court cases”
- Crown Prosecution Service Advocate Panel – General Crime – Grade 2
- Crown Prosecution Service Advocate Panel – Extradition – Grade 3
- GDL and BVC, BPP
- BA (Hons) Modern Languages, University of Oxford, St Peter’s College
- President of the Oxford Union (1999)
- Elected member of the Bar Council: 2017-2020
- Young Barristers’ Committee of the Bar Council: 2015-2020
- Defence Extradition Lawyers’ Forum
- Extradition Lawyers’ Association
- Criminal Bar Association
- South Eastern Circuit
French and Italian
Attorney General Panel
Appointed to C panel
The Divisional Court (Rafferty LJ and J) found that the father of five children, all of whom have significant medical problems should not face prosecution in Cyprus for a fraud which is said to have taken place in 2016.
The Court allowed an appeal against extradition in relation to a UK citizen whose surrender was sought by a court in the Netherlands for an offence of armed robbery for which he had already served a sentence which was increased on an appeal.
The Supreme Court has given judgment in the case of Konecny v District Court in Brno Venkov, Czech Republic UKSC 2017/0200.
The appeal considered whether or not an individual can properly be described as an accused person when he had been convicted but the conviction is not final because he has an unequivocal right to a retrial.
Landmark decision of the Lord Chief Justice in the Divisional Court concerning the allegations of a break down in the rule of law in Poland. Led by Helen Malcolm QC.
Appearing as sole counsel against Mark Summers QC, Benjamin acted on behalf of the judicial authority in Hungary, successfully resisting an appeal against the order of extradition of a Hungarian national, Attila Imre.
Grecu & Bagarea  4 WLR 139,  EWHC 1427 (Admin)
Landmark decision on Romanian prison conditions. Benjamin represented the first Appellant, led by Jonathan Hall QC. The Court found that, following the judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Muršić v Croatia, there is a strong presumption of a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights where the personal space available to a detainee falls below 3m² in multi-occupancy accommodation. Such a presumption can only be rebutted when the reductions in the required minimum personal space are accompanied by various cumulative mitigating factors.
In a technical case with an appeal raised under Section 2 of the Extradition Act, as well as under Article 8, Benjamin successfully acted for a Portuguese national whose extradition was sort for offences concerning an allegation of forging identity documents.
Led by Ben Emmerson QC, Benjamin represented Mr Chihaia. The court considered an acceptance, by the Romanian judicial authorities, that they had not complied with a general assurance issued in February 2015 that there would be a minimum space requirement for prisoners extradited from the UK. The assurance was reaffirmed and therefore was still reliable. Furthermore the court reconsidered Section 20 of the Extradition Act in light of the decision of the Court of Justice of the EU in the case of C-108/16 PPU, Openbaar Ministerie v. Dworzecki.
Led by Edward Fitzgerald QC, Benjamin represented Mr Murphy. The Divisional Court found that no one could be extradited to two Greek prisons (Napflion and Korydallos), unless and until there was evidence of significant improvement due to clear breaches of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Representing the first appellant Benjamin was led by David Perry QC before a Divisional Court including Lord Thomas LCJ. It is the leading case on Section 12A of the Extradition Act 2003. Requesting judicial authorities must have made sufficient progress in a prosecution against an accused individual before that person can be extradited from the UK under a European Arrest Warrant. Decisions to charge and to try must have been made, except where the sole reason for the failure to make those decisions is the absence of the individual from the jurisdiction. The Court also considered mutual legal assistance. If the judicial authority states that it cannot charge or make a decision to try the individual because she is absent from the jurisdiction, then there should be no further questions and the issue of mutual legal assistance is irrelevant to the bar under Section 12A.
A successful appeal against discharge of a European Arrest Warrant issued in order to prosecute a British citizen for conspiracy to transport a large amount of cannabis into Spain in 2007. The Divisional Court found that the judge at first instance erred in finding that extradition would be oppressive. The matter was remitted to Westminster Magistrates’ Court and, after a further appeal, the appellant was extradited to Spain.’
A sentence of 10 years was reduced to one of seven-and-a-half years’ imprisonment in the case of an individual who had pleaded guilty to robbery after taking part in a night-time attack on a homeowner which involved significant violence.
The European Arrest Warrant did not comply with Section 2 of the Extradition Act 2003 and the Court lacked jurisdiction to deal with it. The information in the annex did not form part of the warrant.
11th October 2019
Cathryn McGahey QC and Benjamin Seifert, instructed by Jeremy Coleman of DPP Law successfully represented BY on appeal against an order of extradition. The Divisional Court (Rafferty LJ and Jay J) found that the father of five children, all of whom have significant medical problems, should not face prosecution in Cyprus for a fraud which is said to have taken place in 2016.
27th February 2019
The Supreme Court has given judgment in the case of Konecny v District Court in Brno Venkov, Czech Republic UKSC 2017/0200.
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Benjamin Seifert appears in the Supreme Court
6th December 2018
Benjamin Seifert is appearing in the Supreme Court in Konecny v District Court in Brno Venkov, Czech Republic UKSC 2017/0200. It is an important extradition case which will determine whether or not an individual who is convicted of a criminal offence but is not a fugitive, or deliberately absent from his trial can properly be described as “accused” for the purposes of the Extradition Act 2003 in full consideration of the provisions of Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 (2002/584/JHA).
8th June 2018
Myles Grandison (Appellant) and Benjamin Seifert (Respondent) were led juniors in the lead case before a Divisional Court consisting of Lord Burnett LCJ, Irwin LJ and Ouseley J.
26th March 2018
On 23rd March 2018 the Supreme Court (Lord Mance, Lord Hughes and Lady Black) granted permission to appeal.
23rd February 2018
On 14th February 2018 Benjamin Seifert, acting on behalf of the District Court in Szolnok, Hungary, appearing as sole counsel against Mark Summers QC, successfully resisted an appeal against the order of extradition of a Hungarian national, Attila Imre.
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