Partner Richard Cannon comments on the imbalance in the extradition agreement between the UK and the US in relation to the Mike Lynch extradition case.

Richard’s comments were first published in WIRED Magazine, 28 January 2022, and syndicated by a range of trade publications, including Ars Technica, X99News, English Times, Jornal Observador, DroLab, India News Online, Voice of Time Online, AllstartsUsa, Oxtero, Today Spain 24, Germanic, Webinfobuzz, TecHubb, Fuentitech, Espanol News, Akalazia, London Daily, Caymans Post and Les Actualites.   

Under the terms of the UK-US extradition treaty of 2003, the US can demand extradition of British citizens for alleged offences committed against the US law, even if they were committed in the UK. Because this is unreciprocated in the treaty, a significant imbalance arises. These extradition arrangements were deemed necessary to combat global terrorism in 2003, yet they offer little protection against US extradition.

After years of legal battle, Priti Patel approved Mike Lynch’x extradition to the United States, where he faces further fraud charges. The case highlights the existing imbalance in the extradition agreement between the UK and the US, where the US authorities are bound to use every available legal means to pursue those whom it suspects of having committed crimes against US interests. Yet, simultaneously, the UK will want to exercise justice in its own jurisdiction as it sees fit.

Richard Cannon, Partner at Stokoe Partnership Solicitors, commented:

“The narrative in relation to the perceived imbalance often is one outside the court.”

“It’s very rarely, in my experience, something the courts can or would consider.”

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