On 5 February the High Court ruled that it would not be in the interests of justice to extradite the alleged computer hacker Lauri Love to the USA.
Lauri Love suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome and depression and was indicted in three separate US Federal Districts on fourteen counts of hacking, theft and fraud related offences. However, the High Court ruled (1) that his extradition was barred by reason of forum because it would not be in the interests of justice, pursuant to section 83A of the Extradition Act 2003 (‘the EA’), and (2) that it would be oppressive to extradite Love because of his physical and mental condition, pursuant to section 91 of the EA.
This is the first time the ‘forum bar’ to extradition, a hard fought for and much needed addition to the UK’s extradition arrangements, has been used successfully to prevent extradition. This article explores the reasons for the introduction of the forum bar, its operation in practice, and the implications of the judgment in Love for future cases of ‘concurrent jurisdiction’.