High Court Upholds Extradition Ruling in Kamil Sikora Case: Fugitivity, Passage of Time, and Human Rights Act Considerations Key Issues

Citation: [2023] EWHC 2956 (Admin)
Judgment on


In the recent High Court of Justice case, Kamil Sikora v District Court in Koszalin (Poland), Fordham J presided over an extradition matter, which hinged on the particulars of a prior suspended sentence for assault, the passage of time, the defendant’s conduct, and personal circumstances since the offense occurred. The judgment encapsulates principles relating to fugitivity, passage of time in extradition cases, and the impact of private and family life under the Human Rights Act 1998 on extradition proceedings.

Key Facts

Kamil Sikora, 32, faced extradition to Poland to serve a 12-month custodial sentence activated following his failure to adhere to the conditions of the originally suspended sentence for an assault committed at age 17. Despite attending his trial and pleading guilty, Sikora moved to the UK and did not comply with the notification requirements regarding his address change, effectively becoming a fugitive. After his arrest in the UK, a judicial review previously halted his extradition due to a “judicial error.”

Fugitivity and Extradition

Fugitivity played a central role in assessing the public interest in Sikora’s extradition. The court emphasized Sikora’s knowledge and intention not to comply with probation obligations when he relocated to the UK, which weighed against him in the balance of his extradition argument.

Passage of Time

The ‘passage of time’ argument was scrutinized, particularly concerning potential ‘culpable delay’ by Polish authorities. Reference was made to Tomaszewicz v Poland [2013] EWHC 3670 (Admin) to provide illustrative guidance, though acknowledging the context-specific nature of each case. Fordham J held that there was no substantial culpable delay attributable to the Polish or UK authorities which could diminish the public interest in fulfilling the extradition.

Right to Private and Family Life

The Human Rights Act 1998 enshrines the right to respect for private and family life (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights). In Sikora’s case, the judge considered the development of his private life and community ties in the UK. However, it was determined that no innocent third-party family members’ rights were being interfered with, diminishing the impact of Article 8 arguments against his extradition.


The court denied Sikora’s application for permission to appeal. His argument surrounding the length of time since the offense and his establishment of life in the UK failed in light of the lack of substantial culpable delay and the context of his fugitivity. Furthermore, the judge affirmed that Sikora’s private and family life circumstances in the UK did not outweigh the public interest in upholding the extradition.


The judgment in Kamil Sikora v District Court in Koszalin solidifies the principle that individuals cannot evade justice by becoming fugitives and establishing life elsewhere. It also reinforces the point that while passage of time and an individual’s private and family life can be considered in extradition cases, they must be weighed against public interest and the specifics of each case. In Sikora’s case, these factors did not suffice to prevent extradition. UK legal practitioners should note the robust stance taken by the court against those who would seek to avoid justice by fleeing jurisdiction and the limited scope of the ‘passage of time’ defense in the extradition context.