The House of Lords has granted Ian Norris leave to appeal against the dismissal by the High Court of his appeals against an order for his extradition to the United States to face charges of conspiracy to fix prices and obstruction of the course of justice. The High Court found that dishonest price-fixing is capable of amounting to the English common law offence of conspiracy to defraud and so is an extradition offence.
In order to appeal directly to the House of Lords from the High Court Mr Norris first had to apply for a certificate from the High Court confirming that the case involves a point of law of general public importance which is either concerned wholly or mainly with the construction of a statute or of a statutory instrument, or is one where the trial judge is bound by a previous decision of the Court of Appeal or House of Lords. In March 2007, the High Court certified five issues raised in Mr Norris's appeal against extradition to the US as involving points of law of general public importance.
It has been reported that leave to appeal has been granted on all five certified questions. Two of these questions ask whether price-fixing is capable of amounting to the English common law offence of conspiracy to defraud and, if so, whether there is the necessary correspondence between the offence in England and the offence in the US, such that it is an extradition offence under the Extradition Act 2003.