Friday, January 23, 2009

Not a dies non blog

For a discussion of time limits for filing and serving extradition appeals in the UK, see Mucelli v Govt of Albania [2009] UKHL 2 (21 January 2009).

The phrase "dies non", used by Lord Neuberger at 84, prompts introspection. So much to do, so many dies nons. Indeed, part of the decision concerns the irritating habit (as I think of it) that the other side – whoever it may be - has of serving documents at the last possible moment.

Today is a virtual dies non in Auckland: next Monday is our anniversary holiday (celebrating the establishment of Auckland province) so today everyone is on "absent Friday".

This case illustrates the need for a uniform interpretation of extradition appeal time limits throughout the UK, so that from the various legislative contexts it emerges that filing includes serving, that the short time limits are for expeditious handling of cases and cannot – without express legislative permission – be extended by the courts, but at the same time they should not be read down. Filing by fax may be effected moments before midnight on the last day. Personal filing and service must be done before close of normal business hours where a business (or the court) is the recipient, but on dies nons (when the court office or the recipient's business office is closed all day) the time limit extends to the end of the next open day. [Update: for an example of the prosecution missing a deadline, see Attorney-General's Reference No 3 of 1999: Application by the British Broadcasting corporation to set aside or vary a Reporting Restriction Order [2009] UKHL 34 (17 June 2009), para 42 per Lord Brown.]

As you can see, today is not a dies non blog.

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