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Surrender of Lithuanian national would represent an unwarranted interference with family rights

By: James Cross BL

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High Court, in European Arrest Warrant proceedings: (1) refuses to order the surrender of Lithuanian national to Lithuania on foot of a custodial warrant, on the grounds that the substantial and unexplained delay in issuing and executing the warrant reduced the public interest in surrender, and in the circumstances of this case his surrender would be an unwarranted and disproportionate interference with his family rights; and (2) refuses leave to appeal, on the grounds that the proposed questions of exceptional public importance failed to meet the threshold for leave.

European arrest warrant – Lithuanian authorities seeking surrender of respondent – custodial warrant – multiple offences and history of offending - correspondence with Irish offences – minimum gravity satisfied – complained about the cumulative, inordinate and unjustified delay of approximately 12 years between the dates of the offences and the issuing of the EAW, and the further period of over 20 months before it was executed in this jurisdiction – argued that his surrender would constitute an impermissible interference with his rights to family and private life - request for further information – conduct in this state - only in an exceptional case that Article 8 rights will outweigh the requirement to surrender - public interest that applies in the case of a paroled convict is different to that which applies where a suspect is required for prosecution or where a convict is required to commence service of their sentence - objective of rehabilitation - remaining public interest is therefore confined to ensuring further punishment for offences committed long ago, or for his failure to comply with parole requirements imposed and breached a decade ago – reasons for delay not clearly articulated – delay in this case occurred over a substantial and important period of his life - public interest factors that would ordinarily compel surrender are so heavily and unusually compromised that the adverse effects of surrender on him and his children, particularly his youngest child, are sufficiently weighty to render his proposed surrender an unwarranted and disproportionate interference with the Article 8 rights of all concerned – surrender refused - sought certificate for leave to appeal – proposed points of law – balancing exercise – points relevant only to these proceedings - failed to meet the threshold for leave to appeal -

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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