An application to court made by Rahman Ravelli has clarified the post-Brexit extradition process for defendants arrested on a European Arrest Warrant.
The High Court has ruled that a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued against an individual remains valid, despite the UK leaving the European Union (EU). The court stated that the UK is under an obligation to execute all outstanding EAWs in cases where there has already been an arrest.
This ruling was the result of an application made by Rahman Ravelli on behalf of a client that prosecutors in Cologne wanted to extradite to Germany, as part of investigations into the alleged share-selling tax fraud, Cum-Ex. German authorities had issued an EAW – which allows an EU state to arrest an individual on behalf of another state – for Rahman Ravelli’s client in April 2020. UK authorities executed this two months later.
The court hearing considered the submission from Rahman Ravelli’s Syed Rahman that the extradition request relating to his client was invalid because the UK is no longer part of the EAW programme. His submission argued that the terms of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement only required the UK to comply with the EAW system until the Brexit transition period ended, on 31 December, 2020.
The President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Dame Victoria Sharp, said in her ruling that, under article 185 of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, the UK must comply with the EAW system following its departure from the EU. She denied permission to apply for a judicial review of the decision.
After the ruling, Syed Rahman said that it would be interesting to see if countries that remain EU members face similar legal challenges – and whether the judgements are the same as in the High Court.