16th April 2021
On 8 April 2021, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court handed down judgment in Skorzak v Poland, discharging the Requested Person under s.20 of the Extradition Act 2003. Poland had failed to show that she had been deliberately absent from two hearings, and that they would be reheard if she was extradited.
The case was unusual in that the hearings at issue were not conventional trials, but (i) a hearing to ratify a suspended sentence agreed between the Requested Person and prosecutor after she had admitted an offence, and (ii) a subsequent hearing at which the conditions of the suspension were varied.
The Court agreed that both hearings were ‘trials’ for the purposes of Art. 4a of the Framework Decision and s.20 of the Extradition Act 2003, following the approach in Criminal proceedings against Zdziaszek (Case C-271/17 PPU). It went on to find that the Requested Person had not been properly summoned to the hearings, and that she had not been informed of any right to appeal their outcomes. She was therefore entitled to a ‘retrial’ (or equivalent) in respect of both hearings, which Poland had not shown she would have.
Juliet Wells represented the Requested Person, instructed by Harry Grayson of Shaw Graham Kersh.