Sophia Kerridge, instructed by Renata Pinter of Dalton Holmes Gray Solicitors, has secured the discharge of their client from extradition to Portugal following a successful appeal at the High Court. Mr Paiva was requested by Portugal for an offence of dwelling burglary dating back to 2013.

Mr Paiva’s extradition had been ordered by the District Judge following a full hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The District Judge accepted that Mr Paiva was not a fugitive from justice when he returned to the UK after having visited Portugal to appeal his conviction in 2018. He nevertheless concluded that Mr Paiva was deliberately absent from the trial.  

Sophia drafted full grounds of appeal and represented the client at his appeal hearing. 

Sophia raised section 20 of the Extradition Act 2003, on the grounds that the Portuguese Judicial Authority had not discharged their burden of proving that Mr Paiva had been properly notified of the “trial resulting in the decision”. Therefore, he could not be said to have “deliberately absented himself from his trial”. Since Mr Paiva has no right of appeal in Portugal, it was submitted that Mr Paiva should not be extradited.

Mr Paiva’s appeal was allowed by Mrs Justice Cutts DBE who ordered that the extradition order be quashed and Mr Paiva discharged.  

In her written judgment, Mrs Justice Cutts DBE considered Mr Paiva’s case in light of the recently decided Supreme Court case of Bertino v Italy [2024] UKSC 9. This case is believed to be one of the first High Court cases to implement Bertino, a case that underlined the importance of a defendant’s right to attend their trial and to be warned of the consequences of non-attendance.

See the judgment of Paiva v Tribunal Da Comarca De Setubal [2024] EWHC 980 (Admin), Sophia Kerridge acted for the Appellant.

Sophia Kerridge and Joe O'Leary's most recent article here on the Supreme Court decisions of Bertino v Public Prosecutor's Office Italy [2024] UKSC 9 and Merticariu v Judecatoria Arad, Romania [2024] UKSC 10. These were handed down on 6 March 2024.

Sophia Kerridge represents individuals facing extradition. She is regularly instructed in extradition hearings at all stages, from first appearances in the Magistrates’ Court to substantive appeal hearings before the High Court. Sophia has significant experience of utilising expert evidence on a variety of topics such as prison conditions and complex points of law as part of extradition proceedings. She has published numerous articles on extradition issues including the impact of Brexit and other legal developments.

Sophia has a keen interest in international criminal and human rights cases. She has prosecuted criminal trials involving the use of evidence obtained abroad and that required defendants to be extradited as part of the proceedings. She has experience preparing cases brought before international courts.