Goodyer and Gomes v Government of Trinidad and Tobago

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date22 August 2007
Neutral Citation[2007] EWHC 1886 (Admin),[2007] EWHC 1519 (Admin),[2007] EWHC 2012 (Admin)
Docket NumberCO/3261/2007,Cases No: CO/3261/2007 & CO/744/2007,CO/744/2007, CO/3261/2007
CourtQueen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
Date22 August 2007
Secretary of State for the Home Department
(First Defendant)
Government of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
(Second Defendant)

[2007] EWHC 1519 (Admin)


Lady Justice Hallett

Mr Justice David Clarke





MR B COOPER (instructed by Kaim Todner) appeared on behalf of the CLAIMANT

MISS C DOBBIN (instructed by Treasury Solicitor) appeared on behalf of the FIRST DEFENDANT

MR M SUMMERS (Instructed by Attorney General) appeared on behalf of the SECOND DEFENDANT


Today is the listed hearing date of the appellant's appeal against the decision of the district judge, under Section 87 of the Extradition Act 2003, sending him to the Secretary of State for the Home Department for extradition to Trinidad and Tobago and his appeal against the Secretary of State's decision to make that extradition order. From the time when the present solicitors acting for the appellant became involved in this case the other parties have been on notice of an application that the hearing should be adjourned because they cannot be ready for the full hearing of the appeal.


The appeal as lodged by the earlier representatives in respect of the appeal against the order of the district judge was limited to the finding that there was no bar arising from the passage of time pursuant to Section 82. The district judge had considered the issue of passage of time as well as the issue of abuse of process and double jeopardy but had not been called upon to decide any issue in relation to human rights. The appeal against the Secretary of State was framed as being based on his failure to consider the human rights issues, raised after the extradition hearing by the appellant himself and by members of his family.


Mr Cooper has appeared before us to seek the adjournment which had previously been refused on a paper application.


In the end, after considerable discussion of the issues which would arise on this appeal, we are persuaded that the crucial factor is that there has been no opportunity in the very short time available for the present representatives to prepare the case sufficiently in this very serious matter. What we now have before us, only as of yesterday, is a significant quantity of information emanating from Trinidad that appears to us to be at least capable of founding a human rights argument which, as I understand from Section 104 of the Act, is an issue which the appellant is entitled to raise on appeal, though I leave, for the moment, as an open question the question whether the second part of that sub-section—the question of the availability of the evidence in the court below—is necessarily engaged. I tend to the view that it is, because, even if the human rights issue was not argued in the court below, it is a matter to which the district judge was obliged, under Section 87, to have regard.


I take the point made cogently and at some length by Mr Summers in his skeleton argument that the other aspect on which the adjournment is sought may well not avail the appellant at all; that is his efforts to obtain some corroboration of his assertion that the basis of the entire Trinidad proceedings is false because what actually happened, according to him, is that on 31 January 2003, rather than being bailed to a later court hearing, the proceedings against him were discontinued; that he was never bailed, that he left Trinidad a free man without being in jeopardy of any further court proceedings.


In my view it is strongly arguable that there are no reasonable grounds for believing that such conduct may have occurred when one sees the sworn affidavit evidence, including the arrest warrant issued in April 2003 which exists in this case. I am referring there to Mr Summers' skeleton argument where he sets out, in paragraph 58, a passage from the Lord Chief Justice's judgment in the United States' case (at tab 15 in the bundle). However the adjournment, which is necessary for the purpose of presenting the evidence properly in respect of the human rights aspect of this case, will no doubt enable the appellant's mind to be put at rest on that issue as well, through the good offices of the Trinidadian counsel who have undertaken the work about which we have been told.


However it is the human rights aspect, not so far considered in any court in this particular case, which, in my judgment, is capable of giving rise to a proper argument. We have seen in this case, unlike the case of Gomes v Republic of Trinidad and Tobago which was before us last week, the originating application and affidavit evidence of Mr Edgehill who is the claimant in the case proceeding before the Constitutional High Court of Trinidad. My Lady will give directions in a moment in respect of the timetable which will now be followed.


I will just add that Mr Summers did raise the question whether or not the better course for this court to adopt would be to direct the judge to decide again the human rights question which she decided at the extradition hearing, albeit without argument. That would be a direction under Section 104 (1) (b) of the Extradition Act 2003. The consequence of such a direction is set out in sub-sections (6) and (7). The outcome of that decision would be determinative of the entire extradition proceeding before the court with no further appeal to this court because such a hearing would not be an extradition hearing as defined elsewhere in the Act.


Accordingly it would be necessary for this court to proceed to dispose of the other issues raised. And although I have indicated, for myself, there might well be difficulties in the appellant's way as regards the question of seeking further information to challenge what occurred in Trinidad, nevertheless counsel and the solicitor have only had extremely limited time to consider the case. I have some sympathy with Mr Cooper's complaint that the court should not be dealing in a summary way with any of the issues in this serious case. Accordingly, though with some reluctance, I am persuaded that an adjournment should be allowed.


I agree.


Mr Cooper, the court seeks from you an undertaking that Kaim Todner, solicitors, will obtain from the court a hearing date for this matter before July 31, 2007, subject of course to the court's availability. I can say now that is what you need. You will give that undertaking?


I can certainly undertake to ask those instructing me to ask that the matter is listed by a date set by this court.


Indeed, that is what I mean.


As far as the evidence is concerned, I set out five weeks—


We have heard your arguments on that. We are about to set down a timetable. We are satisfied in the interests of justice that time for hearing this appeal should be extended until July 31, 2007. By 4 pm on June 30, all the evidence upon which the appellant seeks to rely in this appeal to be filed with the court and served on the parties. By 4 pm on June 30, the appellant is to serve on the court and all parties any revised skeleton argument and revised time estimate. Our provisional time estimate for hearing is one day. By 4 pm on June 30, the appellant is to have informed the Secretary of State, if it is agreed, that the appeal against him can be dismissed with consent. This order granting the adjournment requested, as set out by my Lord, is conditional upon Kaim Todner undertaking to this court, through Mr Cooper, to obtain, if they can, a hearing date for this matter before July 31, 2007.


In the light of the concession that there is no appeal against the Secretary of State, could the court dismiss the appeal against the Secretary of State today?


Mr Cooper, we have given you time now so what do you say about that application?


Given the seriousness of the issue involved in this case—Article 3 and Article 6—I would ask that the direction stands for the appellant to inform the court and the Secretary of State by 30 June which would afford the appellant an opportunity to meet with his new legal team at the very least. I simply ask for that opportunity. I can indicate that the Secretary of State will be notified well before then if at all possible.


You did say five—


Yes. Can I say one thing—


If that is not done and yet at the hearing it becomes clear that there is no argument, you will be at serious costs risks then.


I quite accept that.


It could be the lawyers at serious costs risk. It could be you and your solicitors facing a wasted costs order, you understand? Are you prepared to—


I have set out my interpretation of the law as it stands. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with the client. Can I make one further point which is that if the evidence is to be served by 30 June at 4 pm, would the appellant be afforded seven days thereafter to serve a skeleton argument to take stock of all the evidence?


The idea was that you had your house in order because, as Mr Summers said, it is not just a case of you having your house in order, he wants to get his house in order too.




Mr Summers?


I can serve a bundle of authorities well before that as presently envisaged to be relied upon. But given that there is specific evidence being obtained by 30 June, seven days would be appreciated simply to present the material.



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