QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE GRIFFITH WILLIAMS
|GOVERNOR HMP WANDSWORTH||Defendant|
|THE REGIONAL COURT IN SLUPSK||Interested Party|
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
The Defendant did not appear and was not represented
Rachel Kapila (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) appeared on behalf of the Interested Party
Crown Copyright ©
"The law appears on the face of it to be very straightforward. Section 4(3) says that the RP must be brought as soon as practicable before this court. I take that to mean as soon as practicable after arrest. The RP was arrested on this EAW at 20.42 yesterday. The soonest that he could have been brought before this court was this morning. He eventually was brought before this court at 1pm this afternoon. He was taken to Hammersmith Magistrates' Court at 8.30 this morning. He was picked up at the Magistrates Court at 12.12 and was brought here at 1pm. I have to consider what the Act intended to do. I consider that this Act was implemented such that individuals were not left languishing without being produced before a court. Mr Grange makes the point that the RP was languishing at Hammersmith's Magistrates' Court between 8.30am and 12.12pm. The reality is that in practical terms this RP appeared before me not long after a time when he may have appeared if he had been brought here earlier. I have certainly heard initial hearings at times later than this in the court day. I do not consider that the period between 8.30 and 12.12 is such that it falls foul on section 4(3). I am satisfied that the RP has been brought as soon as practicable before this court and the case proceeds. The application to discharge is refused."
6. There is no issue that the writ of habeas corpus is available in extradition proceedings, nor, as it appeared from the application, did it appear that there was any issue that this court, when determining whether a person arrested under a Part 1 warrant has been brought before an appropriate judge as soon as practicable, should consider whether the decision of the District Judge was Wednesbury unreasonable or irrational ...see R (on the application of) Nikonovs v Governor of Brixton Prison & Anr  EWHC 2405 (Admin) at paragraphs 18 and 22).
8. He places reliance upon those matters in support of his submission that the court should approach these issues in a wider way than the conventional Wednesbury approach. I derive no assistance from those decisions or from the cited passages in the textbook. In my judgment this court is bound by the decision in Nikonovs v Governor of Brixton Prison & Anr  EWHC 2405 (Admin), and, in particular, that part of the judgment of Baker LJ when he said this at paragraph 21:
"Whether or not the claimant was brought before the judge at Bow Street as soon as practicable is a question of fact. Two points should be noted. First the criterion is practicable rather than the more elastic reasonably practicable. Second, the draughtsmen has chosen practicability rather than the more precise criterion of a specified period as, for example, 48 hours in section 6(3). There will no doubt be cases at the margins where views could reasonably differ whether the applicant was indeed brought before the appropriate judge as soon as practicable."
"The reality is that in practical terms this RP appeared before me not long after a time when he may have appeared if he had been brought earlier."
There is no doubt in my mind that the District Judge had regard very much to the overall period of time.
"Practicability is obviously a slightly elastic concept which must take account of the availability of ... magistrates' courts."