United Kingdom: Extradition order to Cyprus overruled in light of Article 8 ECHR considerations

Thursday, October 10, 2019

On 10 October 2019, the High Court of Justice (Administrative) published its ruling concerning the appeal of an extradition order to Cyprus on the basis that it violated the applicant’s rights under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

An expulsion order was issued on 20 December 2018 after the applicant is alleged to have committed the offence of obtaining credit under false pretences in Cyprus. The applicant lived with his ex-partner between 2006 and 2017 and had five children who suffer from various genetic, behavioural, and developmental conditions. In June 2018 the applicant was clinically assessed to be suffering from moderate anxiety and depression, and his ex-partner was assessed to suffer from moderate depression.

The appeal of the extradition order was made on the basis that, inter alia, the applicant’s extradition would impact the mental health of the applicant and his ex-partner. In particular, it was argued that the applicant’s extradition would impact the ex-partner’s ability to provide the necessary care for their children, who have diverse and complex medical needs. It was noted that while the couple had separated and the applicant was no longer a primary care giver, he was still actively involved in his children’s’ lives. The applicant therefore complained that the District Judge had erred in their assessment of the competing public interest in extradition and his right to private and family by failing to consider the potential impact of the extradition on the children.

The Court noted that central to this issue were the needs of the children, who had been identified in this case as particularly vulnerable. Moreover, it expressed concern that the practical ability for the family to cope in the event of extradition had been considerably underestimated. Based on the exceptional needs of the children, the practical difficulties to provide care, the applicant’s supportive role in the lives of the children, and the potential impact on his and his ex-partner’s mental health, the Court held that the public interest in the extradition was outweighed by the applicant’s Article 8 ECHR rights. Indeed, the Court reasoned that the applicant’s extradition would be “highly deleterious” for the family as a whole.

Photo: mrhayata, March 2006. Flickr (CC)

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is pusexblished but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.


Family unity (right to)
Vulnerable person