We've been asked to support a woman's fight against extradition: please tell us what you think

(99 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-May-12 11:05:06

Hello,

We've been contacted by the human rights group Liberty to see whether we can support their efforts to stop a woman called Eileen Clark from being extradited to the USA to stand trial for international parental kidnapping.

You can read more about the background details here and here, but here's an edited version:

In 1986 Eileen married John Clark. The relationship quickly descended into serious psychological control, threats of violence and many occasions of physical violence. After almost ten years, Eileen took her three children and moved to California, then eventually moved back to the UK. In her absence, her husband divorced her and took proceedings against her for custody of the children. Eileen was charged with a state-level offence called 'custodial interference'.

In 2008, the state authorities in the US became aware that Eileen was in the UK. The federal authorities stepped in - Liberty believes following behind-the-scenes pressure from John Clark - and effectively upgraded the charges to something called 'international parental kidnapping', which carries a prison sentence of up to 3 years.

In 2010, a formal extradition request was made. Eileen tried to appeal against the extradition order through the British courts but her appeal was dismissed. The very strong and compelling evidence that Eileen was a victim of serious domestic violence and abuse was not properly considered by the courts in this country.

Liberty took on the case after Eileen had exhausted her appeal rights. Liberty says it has been shocked to discover the extent of the evidence of domestic abuse and even more shocked to learn that the British courts have not been able to look at this evidence.

According to Liberty, it is the Extradition Act 2003 which has allowed this case to get so far. It says that the Act has removed huge swathes of judicial discretion to prevent extradition from taking place where, for example, it is not in the interests of justice. All that remains now is for Eileen to make representations to the Home Secretary that her removal should be blocked on human rights grounds.

As ever, we'd be interested to hear what you think.

Thanks,
MNHQ

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 24-May-12 11:09:40

Yes you should support. The extradition act is a very scary piece of legislation, and the actions of those in the US were questionable to say the least.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Thu 24-May-12 11:11:02

I think Mumsnet should support her case.

IamtheZombie Thu 24-May-12 11:30:54

Please support this.

Flaneuse Thu 24-May-12 11:32:47

Yes, please do support this.

lisaro Thu 24-May-12 11:35:54

The

hecatetrivia Thu 24-May-12 11:37:25

Oh yes. I would support this.

DorisIsWaiting Thu 24-May-12 11:38:23

Please do support this.

CafPowadactyl Thu 24-May-12 11:39:11

yes from me.

hecatetrivia Thu 24-May-12 11:40:56

Isn't the extradition act bloody scary anyway? I recall reading that it's one way, so brits can be extradited to the US but not the other way round. Or some inequality in level of proof required, and something about them having the power to demand someone who committed a crime in the uk to be extradited - eg internet related - instead of being tried here?

I'm dragging things out the back of my mind so may be muddled, but it's a really awful piece of legislation, afair

SoupDragon Thu 24-May-12 11:41:14

Personally, I would be wary about supporting any specific case but would wholeheartedly support a more general cause wrt the extradition act or the fundamental flaws in how the case was handled rather than supporting her per se. Does that make sense?

Adding my voice... Please do what you can to help her.

It's a definite yes from me too. The American justice system is terrible. If there is a case surely it would be less stressful for everyone concerned, including the children, if it was heard in this country?

If we're a country that can make decisions about extradition, then we're also a country that has a court system good enough to look at the evidence and make a decision.

poorbuthappy Thu 24-May-12 11:46:52

I was all ready to say no, but obviously its a yes.
The only thing I would say MNHQ is that I trust you to get all the facts and make a correct judgement.

openerofjars Thu 24-May-12 11:54:03

Yes, support this please!

MarySA Thu 24-May-12 12:17:06

Normally I would be very cautious supporting a fight against extradition. But in this case if the facts are as in the post then I would definitely support this. I presume Eileen is a citizen of the UK. Or is she American.

I think that all of us should be protesting against the extradition act in general as it is a one-sided piece of legislation when it comes to UK to USA extradition (See Gary McKinnon, Gary Mulgrew & Christopher Tappin for starters). To protest only when it concerns a mum and her children ignores the bigger picture, IMVHO.

I'm with SoupDragon on this - a more general campaign would be helpful but I really don't think Mumsnet should get involved with individual cases.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 24-May-12 12:41:42

I'm going to have to clarify my response now :-)

Yes, I think Mumsnet should support this case as an example of why the extradition act is wrong, and with a view towards supporting a review of the said act

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 24-May-12 12:42:32

It looks like Liberty are against the extradition act in general, but are also fighting individual cases.

DarrowbyEightFive Thu 24-May-12 12:44:21

What itsallgoing said.

sallymonella Thu 24-May-12 12:47:43

Support her please

2shoes Thu 24-May-12 12:48:59

what AgentProvocateur said

missorinoco Thu 24-May-12 12:55:35

I would support the opposition of the act, with reference to this specific case. Presumably it would work the other way round - publicise the case, have the extradition overturned and on the back of this apply to have the act revoked.

(You can tell I am not a lawyer!)

EauRouge Thu 24-May-12 12:56:24

Agree with ItsAllGoing, I think you should support this case but make a point that the extradition act is scary shit.

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