High Court refuses appeal against extradition to California for murder trial


Re: Miao v Government of the United States of America [2020] EWCA 2178 (Admin)

The Government of the United States had requested the applicant’s extradition to stand trial for the murder of a former business associate. The applicant had resisted extradition, chiefly, on the grounds of mental health and prison conditions in California. The District Judge had decided to send the applicant’s case to the Secretary of State under section 87(3) of the Extradition Act 2003. The applicant appealed on the basis that the Government failed to honour its duty of candour in laying out the problems in the Californian prison estate; the judge should have found that extradition was barred by Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention in consequence of the applicant’s mental illness and risk of suicide and that the judge should have found that extradition is barred by section 91 on the same basis.   The question for the High Court was whether there was an arguable basis for saying that the district judge was ‘wrong’ in his conclusions on any or all of the three grounds of appeal.

The High Court refused permission to appeal and held that the District Judge was correct in the conclusions that he reached. The Court was satisfied that the applicant would be properly cared for and his mental health needs and suicide risk appropriately dealt with. The assurances given to that effect were found to be specific and detailed and given in good faith by and on behalf of individuals who have the ability to ensure they are fulfilled.

Mark Summers QC was involved in this case.