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Ania Grudzinska successful in two consecutive extradition appeals.

On Wednesday 22nd May 2024, Ania appeared before Mr Justice Johnson who allowed an appeal against extradition on article 8 ECHR grounds. The case involved an Appellant sought by Poland to serve a two year sentence in respect of offences of fraud. The Appellant had been on bail throughout the proceedings and had a sentence of 1 year 11 months and 28 days remaining to serve if she had been extradited. She had been found to be a fugitive by the District Judge. The success of the appeal rested solely on the impact of extradition on the family unit. Ania persuaded Mr Justice Johnson that the District Judge had wrongly applied the “exceptionality test” and that the article 8 balancing exercise should be undertaken afresh. Upon so doing, Mr Justice Johnson concluded that “On the basis of the evidence, the grandchild has potentially very concerning neurological symptoms. She is at an age where she is wholly dependent on her carers. Her father has taken no interest or role in her life and her mother is her sole carer. The care and support that she is able to provide is significantly impacted by her own medical condition. This small family unit is therefore strongly reliant on the Appellant in order to ensure that reliable care is in place on the granddaughter.” The appeal was allowed.

Ania was instructed by Anna Maj and Edel Speirits, Michael Carroll Solicitors

 

Ania Grudzinska Guernica 37 Chambers
Ania Grudzinska Guernica 37 Chambers

On Thursday 23rd May 2024, Ania appeared before Mr Justice Swift who allowed an appeal against s20 of the Extradition Act 2003. The Appellant was sought by Romania to serve a sentence of 4 years for an offence of fraud. The whole term of 4 years imprisonment remained to be served had she been returned to Romania. Ania did not represent the Appellant in the Court below and s20 was not raised before the District Judge. Upon being instructed on appeal, Ania applied to amend grounds to include s20. The Judicial Authority’s position was that the Appellant could be deemed to have been present at her trial by virtue of the fact that she was represented by a retained lawyer. In fact, the lawyer had been retained by her father. The lawyer never had any contact with the Appellant and, consequently, never took any instructions from her about her legal position.

Permission to appeal was granted s20 by Mr Justice Morris. Two points arose. Firstly, it was clear from the evidence presented by the Requesting State (together with being given an opportunity to present further evidence during the course of the appeal proceedings) that the Appellant would not be entitled to a re-trial as per the recent Supreme case of Merticariu v Romania [2024] UKSC 10. Secondly, Mr Justice Swift accepted Ania’s submissions that the prosecution could not prove, to the criminal standard, that the Applicant knew about the proceedings against her and the evidence that the retained lawyer did not receive his instructions from her could not be undermined. Mr Justice Swift found that the lawyer was not a true proxy for her attendance and involvement. Ania succeeded in all of her submissions and the appeal was allowed.

Ania was instructed by Eliza Dumitrescu, AM International Solicitors.

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