Extradition and mental health in UK law.
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ARNELL, P. 2019. Extradition and mental health in UK law. Criminal law forum [online], Latest Articles. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10609-019-09369-7
The response of UK extradition law and practice to requested persons presenting with mental health disorders is multi-faceted and unnecessarily complex. The issues raised are not consistently addressed. The reasons for this are manifold and inter-related. They are firstly that extradition law fails to adequately recognise that mental health cases can engender distinct concerns. This is seen in the similarity in approach taken to deportation and physical illness on the one hand and mental health disorders on the other. It is also manifest in the operation of the three different, intricate and at times over-lapping bars which may prevent an extradition in mental health cases. The response to the evidential challenges arising in the area further illustrates the deficiency of the law. Secondly, where the law has specifically recognised that mental health cases may be distinct that acceptance is wanting. This recognition has occurred where requested persons may be at risk of suicide and within the substance of diplomatic assurances, including where an individual may be unfit to plead. The law here has developed a bespoke set of ‘suicide-case’ rules and employed diplomatic assurances in response to some of the concerns. Whilst positive, these developments are inadequate and inconsistent. Overall, the deficient nature of the law arises from its failure to systematically recognise and coherently address the concerns that often arise in mental health cases. This article analyses the response of UK extradition law to mental health disorders and uncovers the reasons behind its deficiencies.