There was on the facts, an issue as to whether the claimant was fit to stand trial and the Secretary of State for the Home Department had been correct to order the claimant's surrender to the United States of America for that issue to be determined as part of the trial process.Application for judicial review of the decision of the Secretary of State for the Home Department ('D') on 4 November 2002 ordering the claimant's ('W') surrender to the United States of America under the Extradition Act 1989. W was a solicitor resident in the United Kingdom. On 3 May 1999, a Grand Jury in New York charged W with crimes of enterprise corruption, falsifying business records and securities fraud. On 25 June 1999, a request was filed for W's extradition. On the present application W argued that it would be unjust and/or oppressive to order his surrender on the basis: (i) that he was seriously mentally unwell, his wife was unwell and his children's welfare would suffer if he was extradited; (ii) that, in relation to his mental condition, D had wrongly preferred the opinion of a psychiatric social worker over the opinions of qualified psychiatrists who had examined him; and (iii) that the opinions of the psychiatrists who had examined him and found him unfit to stand trial in the United States were so clear, that there was no issue as to his fitness to stand trial that could be decided by a court in the United States.HELD: (1) It was open to D to reach the conclusion that there was an issue as to W's fitness to stand trial that should be decided by a court in the United States. (2) The seriousness of W's condition was a matter of degree and it was open to the psychiatric social worker and D to bear in mind the fact that D had had no extensive treatment for his condition as an inmate. (3) Since it was not inevitable that W would be found unfit to stand trial, D had to consider whether W's return was proportionate by balancing the competing factors of the effect of W's return on him and his family and the public interest in the United Kingdom's compliance with its treaty obligations. (4) In the context of the court's decision that there was an issue as to W's fitness to plead and a conclusion that appropriate treatment would be made available to him within a reasonable period of time in the United States, the balance lay in favour of his return to the United States.Application refused.
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