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Sector: Extradition; Regulatory; International law

Practice Area: Dispute Resolution, Private Client

In what is a rare complete overturn of an extradition order, the Court of Appeal fully accepted the firm’s arguments, and finally resolved the relevant matter, resisting to extradite the individual to the requesting state.

The Court of Appeal was faced with a first instance decision ordering an extradition of a high-net-worth individual, a shareholder in an international trading business, as requested by an extradition request from a CIS country. The firm appealed the first instance decision, raising a number of arguments why both the extradition request and extradition order are contrary to the legal order of the Republic of Serbia, rules of international law, European Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution. The Court of Appeal accepted the arguments of the defence and has completely overturned the first instance decision, producing a final judgment on this matter, with the result that the private client will not be extradited to the relevant country. With respect to one of the main points of the appeal – the interpretation of the “duality” requirement, the Court of Appeal correctly found that while this requirement does not require a strict formal and grammatical identity between the foreign and domestic norms, that the nature and essence of the norms and offences still have to be the same. This stance taken by the Court of Appeal is a welcome precedent indicating that the domestic courts must rigorously investigate extradition requests which attempt to elevate general misdemeanour offences and non-criminal behaviour as a basis for criminal extradition.

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