Authors: Edward Grange and Rebecca Niblock
Publisher: Legal Action Group (£35)
Extradition is widely regarded as a particularly glamorous but challenging branch of the criminal law. Those who practise in the area find that the glamour may not be equally distributed, but the challenges are. Few get to represent Russian oligarchs or high-profile computer hackers, but in extradition law the most apparently straightforward case can give rise to knotty legal problems that may well end up being resolved by the Supreme Court.
Against this the extradition practitioner enjoys a number of advantages. There is a single act of parliament to get to grips with and a single court of first instance with a small cadre of experienced extradition judges. There is a single route of appeal and now, with the publication of Extradition Law: a practitioner’s guide, there is a single ‘must have’ handbook.
As one would expect from a LAG publication, the focus is as much on procedural and practical matters as on the substantive law. Topics such as lodging an appeal, applying for legal aid, billing, reading a European arrest warrant, prisoner transfers and the significance of asylum applications all receive careful treatment. The text is supplemented by a handful of flowcharts and checklists. The emphasis may be on Part 1 (EU) extraditions but such cases form the bulk of extradition work and it is difficult to think of an issue that arises in Part 1 cases that is not addressed.
The existing works on extradition are weighty tomes which should, as they say, ‘be on the shelves of every good law library’. However, there is now no need for the practitioner to break the bank by purchasing one or break one’s back by lugging it to court. As of 2014 Grange and Niblock is the one essential work. It will need to be regularly updated if it is to retain its usefulness.
Daniel Jones is a barrister at Dyers Chambers, London, specialising in criminal law with a particular emphasis on extradition, appellate and international work