Balancing Extradition and Article 8 Rights: Key Issues in Stumbre v Prosecutor General’s Office Case

Citation: [2024] EWHC 406 (Admin)
Judgment on


In the High Court case of Victoria Stumbre v Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania, the court was presented with an appeal against an extradition order involving complex issues pertaining to the European Arrest Warrant system, the nature of the offences, and the intersection of extradition law with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, concerning the right to respect for private and family life.

Key Facts

The extradition order under appeal followed an accusation warrant issued by the Prosecutor General of Lithuania, concerning thirty-six alleged offences by Ms. Stumbre between 2017 and 2018. These ranged from swindling to forgery of documents. The request was the second following an earlier extradition in 2018 for related offences, which ultimately led to Ms. Stumbre’s surrender and subsequent unlawful departure from Lithuania.

The key point of contention was whether the extradition would disproportionately interfere with the Article 8 rights of Ms. Stumbre and her children. Following her initial extradition, it was determined that her children would be placed into foster care, possibly separated, if she were to be extradited again, with severe implications for their welfare as opined by a clinical psychologist.

The case’s legal analysis hinged on the correct application of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights within the context of extradition proceedings. The following legal principles were central to the decision:

  1. Proportionality and Article 8: The District Judge evaluated whether extradition would be a disproportionate interference with Ms. Stumbre’s and her children’s right to private and family life. The court reiterated the established principle that an individual’s rights under Article 8 are not absolute and can be compromised for a higher public interest, such as honoring international extradition obligations.

  2. Seriousness of Criminal Conduct: The court considered the gravity and number of offences alleged against Ms. Stumbre as factors contributing to the public interest in extradition. The District Judge noted that she had admitted guilt to a significant number of these offences, thereby increasing the public interest in extradition.

  3. The Interests of Dependent Children: The court accepted that the interests of dependent children should be a paramount consideration, following precedents like HH v Deputy Prosecutor of Italian Republic Genoa, where the Supreme Court highlighted the necessity of only avoiding extradition in very rare cases when dependent children’s interests were concerned.

  4. Fugitive Status: The court noted that Ms. Stumbre’s status as a fugitive, having previously absconded from bail in Lithuania, added considerable weight to the public interest in ensuring extradition and diminished the weight attributed to factors against it.

  5. Appellate Review Principles: The court applied Lord Neuberger’s approach from Re B (a child), refining the scope of appellate intervention in proportionality determinations by a trial court, and limited interference to instances where the trial judge’s decision was conclusively wrong or unsupportable.


The appeal was dismissed as the trial judge’s decision was deemed to fall within Lord Neuberger’s categories of acceptable judicial decision-making. Despite the significant impact on Ms. Stumbre’s children, the judge’s decision was not found to be wrong given the very serious nature of the allegations and Ms. Stumbre’s conduct as a fugitive.


In Victoria Stumbre v Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania, the delicate balance between an individual’s private and family life and the public interest in honoring extradition commitments was explored. The case reaffirmed the principle that extradition may be justified despite severe interference with Article 8 rights when the offending is serious and the public interest in extradition is highly compelling. The case stressed the importance of judicial discretion and restraint when considering appeals grounded in Article 8 within the extradition context and the limited circumstances that would warrant an appellate court’s interference with a trial judge’s proportionality assessment.