Benjamin is a specialist extradition and public law practitioner.
He regularly appears in the High Court, Westminster Magistrates’ Court and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). 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 he advises the Home Secretary on cases of unlawful detention.
In March 2017 he was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Civil Counsel.
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 habeas corpus. He has appeared on behalf of requested persons in the leading appeal cases concerning prison conditions in both Greece and Romania and also regarding Section 12A of the Extradition Act 2003 regarding the absence of a prosecution decision.
He is currently instructed on behalf of several Polish judicial authorities in the leading case concerning the rule of law in Poland. In December 2018 he is due to appear in the Supreme Court in the case of Karel Konecny which will consider the application of Section 14 of the Extradition Act 2003.
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 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.”
Recent work: Acted for an Iraqi-born British citizen facing charges of people trafficking whose extradition was requested by a prosecutor in France. His client was alleged to have been the mastermind behind a large number of illegal entries to the United Kingdom from France.”
Legal 500 – 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 2
- 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
- Defence Extradition Lawyers’ Forum
- Extradition Lawyers’ Association
- Criminal Bar Association
- South Eastern Circuit
French and Italian
Attorney General Panel
Appointed to C panel
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.
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.
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.
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