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Extradition and mental health: the need for multidisciplinary review and research.

Arnell, Paul; Forrester, Andrew


Paul Arnell

Andrew Forrester


More than 1000 people are forcibly removed from the UK each year through the process of extradition, so that they might stand trial or be imprisoned abroad. Over the last 10 years, 115,915 extradition requests were made using one such mechanism, the European Arrest Warrant, resulting in 15,243 arrests and 10,689 surrenders. A somewhat similar system has now been agreed post Brexit. In an increasing number of these cases, mental-health disorders are put forward in opposition to the process. This is allowed under the law. However, a number of questions necessarily arise in the area. Central to these is whether extradition law and practice appropriately and fully take these disorders into account, given the specific context. The importance of this hardly needs to be emphasised. Subjection to the criminal justice process within the UK itself is a challenging prospect for those with a mental-health disorder – indeed for all people. The prospect of facing a criminal trial or incarceration in a foreign country apart from family, support systems and familiar medical and mental-health support networks is daunting indeed.


ARNELL, P. and FORRESTER, A. 2021. Extradition and mental health: the need for multidisciplinary review and research. Medicine, science and the law [online], 61(2), pages 83-85. Available from:

Journal Article Type Editorial
Acceptance Date Feb 7, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 7, 2021
Publication Date Apr 1, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 26, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 26, 2021
Journal Medicine, Science and the Law
Print ISSN 0025-8024
Electronic ISSN 2042-1818
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 61
Issue 2
Pages 83-85
Keywords Health Policy; Issues, ethics and legal aspects; Law; Mental health; Expradition
Public URL


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