Sector: Extradition; Regulatory; International law
Practice Area: Dispute Resolution, Private Client
In what was a rare case of the Appellate Court ruling in the favour of the defendant and quashing the First Instance Court on the merits, the firm successfully represented a private client – a shareholder of an international trading company – who was facing an unjustified extradition request from a CIS country. In May 2023, following what is a strong practice of deferral to reasons provided by the requesting states, the First instance Court – High Court in Belgrade, Special Department for Organized Crime, issued an extradition order. Following this, the firm appeared before the Court of Appeal, and raised a number of arguments why the extradition request was legally unsound and that the conditions for extradition have not been met. The firm argued that the first instance decision was contrary to the Constitution, legal order of the Republic of Serbia and the generally accepted rules of international law. The decision of the Court of Appeal reiterated the importance of one of the mandatory conditions for extradition – duality of the criminal offence in both legal systems – and that the condition cannot be interpreted loosely, so that mere regulatory misdemeanours cannot be elevated to the level of criminal offence based on the practice of the requesting state.