1993

HL

R Horseferry Road Magistrates’ Court, ex parte Benett [1993] 3 All ER 138

Benett a New Zealand citizen was wanted in the UK in respect of allegation of Fraud. Benett was located in South Africa, and UK asked the South African police to send him forcible to UK. This was done. Resolution Lord Griffiths: The respondents have relied upon the US authorities in which the Supreme Court has consistently refuse to regard forcible abductions from a foreign country as a violation of the right by Due Process of law guaranteed, fourteen amendment to the Constitution. I do not however find these decisions particularly helpful because they deal with the issue whether or not an accused acquires a constitutional defence to the jurisdiction of the US courts and not to the question whether assuming the court has jurisdiction, it has discretion to refuse to try the accused

In the present case there is no suggestion that the appellant cannot have a fair trial if the court is to have the power to interfere with the prosecution in the present circumstances it must be because the juridiciary accept a responsibility for the maintenance of the rule of law that embraces a willingness to oversee executive action an to refuse to countenance behaviour that threatens either basic human rights or the rule of law. The courts cannot contemplate for a moment the transference to the executive of the responsibility for seeing that the process of law is not abused. Lord Bridge: There is no principle more basic to any proper system of law than the maintenance of the rule of law itself