Extradition is a set of procedures for transferring a person who is in the territory of a country to another country for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings against him or enforcing a sentence. Extradition is usually carried out on the basis of an international agreement, as long as reciprocity is ensured by the country requesting extradition.

Most countries (including Poland), as a rule, do not allow extradition of their own citizens or persons who have been granted asylum in their territory (unless certain conditions are met). It should be remembered that the basis for extradition may be only an act punishable in both countries (the so-called principle of double criminality), and the person extradited may be prosecuted only for the crimes that were the basis for the extradition, as well as execute against him only such a punishment, for the execution of which he was extradited (the so-called principle of speciality).

In a situation where an authority of a foreign state refers a request to Poland for the extradition of a prosecuted person for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings against him or executing a sentence or a security measure imposed on him, the prosecutor interrogates the person and, if necessary, secures evidence located in the country, after which he brings the case to the locally competent district court. Both a defense attorney and an interpreter may participate in the activities involving the person against whom the extradition has been requested. It should also be borne in mind that for the duration of the extradition proceedings, the prosecuted person may be temporarily detained.

The court may issue a decision that extradition is inadmissible. The grounds for such a decision may be:

  • a well-founded fear that the death penalty may be imposed or executed against the extradited person in the requesting state;
  • a well-founded fear that in the state demanding surrender the liberties and rights of the surrendered person may be violated;
  • prosecution for the commission of a politically motivated (non-violent) crime;
  • the requested person enjoys the right of asylum in Poland.

In terms of matters related to extradition procedures, Kopeć & Zaborowski Law Firm offers:

  • assistance to Polish and foreign citizens;
  • detailed discussion of the institution of extradition, its admissibility and consequences;
  • analysis of the legal and factual situation of the person against whom extradition is requested;
  • ongoing contact with the authorities conducting the proceedings and with the competent authorities of the country requesting extradition;
  • active participation in the extradition hearing, including cassation proceedings;
  • preparation of letters to the Minister of Justice, the Ombudsman and the Prosecutor General;
  • preparation of a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights regarding irregularities in extradition proceedings;
  • preparation of an application to the Head of the Office for Foreigners for granting a foreigner asylum in Poland, and in case of refusal to grant asylum – preparation of an application for reconsideration of the case and a complaint to the Voivodship Administrative Court.

Our offer is addressed to:

  • Poles subject to an extradition request;
  • foreigners against whom extradition proceedings are pending;
  • persons seeking asylum in Poland;
  • families of participants in extradition proceedings.

How can
we help you?

the experts

Maciej Zaborowski

Advocate, Managing Partner

Paweł Gołębiewski

Attorney-at-law, Head of International Criminal Law Practice