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Case details

Popoviciu (Respondent) v Curtea De Apel Bucharest (Romania) (Appellant)

Case ID: 2021/0152

Case summary


In a conviction extradition case, is it sufficient for the requested person to show substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk that his trial was so flagrantly unfair as to deprive him of the essence of his Article 6 rights, and therefore a real risk that his imprisonment in the requesting state will violate his Article 5 rights?


Gabriel Popoviciu ("Popoviciu") was convicted in Romania of two offences - accessory to aggravated abuse of power, and bribery – and was sentenced to 7 years' imprisonment.

On 3 August 2017, a European Arrest Warrant ("EAW") was issued by the Bucharest Court of Appeal (the "Bucharest Court") seeking the return of Popoviciu. He was arrested on 14 August 2017 and on 12 July 2019 the Westminster Magistrates' Court ordered his extradition.

Popoviciu appealed to the Administrative Court on the basis that the judge that convicted him in Romania, Judge Tudoran, had an undisclosed and inappropriate long-standing relationship with the prosecution's primary witness. Popoviciu provided new evidence from a Romanian lawyer who is investigating Judge Tudoran for various corruption-related offences which shed light on his relationship with the prosecution's primary witness. The Administrative Court admitted this new evidence and, having taken it into account, overturned the Westminster Magistrates' Court's order. It held that there was a real risk that Popoviciu’s trial in Romania had been flagrantly unfair, and therefore returning Popoviciu to Romania would breach his Article 5 rights as he faced being imprisoned for a substantial period there because of his conviction. The judge's undisclosed relationship with the primary witness meant that Popoviciu suffered a complete denial of his Article 6 rights. The Bucharest Court now appeals to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2021] EWHC 1584



Curtea De Apel Bucharest (Romania)


Gabriel Aurel Popoviciu



Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Kitchin, Lord Hamblen, Lord Stephens

Hearing start date

16 May 2023

Hearing finish date

17 May 2023

Watch hearing
16 May 2023 Morning session Afternoon session
17 May 2023 Morning session

Judgment details

Judgment date

8 November 2023

Neutral citation

[2023] UKSC 39

Watch Judgment summary
8 November 2023 Judgment summary