White & Case and Sumption lose Norris extradition battle

The Supreme Court convened nine Supreme Justices to hear the case, which examined the validity of the UK extradition treaty with the US.

The court, chaired by Supreme Court president Lord Phillips, ruled unanimously that Norris, a retired chief executive of Morgan Crucible, should face charges related to obstruction of justice in the US. Norris won an earlier court battle against being extradited in relation to price-fixing charges (12 March 2008).

White & Case partner Alistair Graham instructed Brick Court Chambers’ Jonathan Sumption QC (pictured) to represent Norris.

The court rejected the argument that to extradite the 67-year-old would be an infringement of his human rights under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act – the right to family life in the UK, where his wife is based.

Lord Phillips ruled that Norris’s efforts to delay the extradition had exacerbated the consequences that his family would suffer.

The court ruled: “One has to consider the effect on the public interest in the prevention of crime if any defendant with family ties and dependencies such as those which bind Mr Norris and his wife was thereby rendered immune from being extradited to be tried for serious wrongdoing. The answer is that the public interest would be seriously damaged.

“It’s for this reason that only the gravest effects of interference with family life will be  capable of rendering extradition disproportionate to the public interest that it serves.”

The DoJ directly instructed 6 Kings Bench Walk’s David Perry QC.

Civil rights group Liberty instructed Richard Hermer QC to act as an intervener in support of Norris.