An idiosyncratic compendium of opinions on Assange, Ecuador and the law

Following an extensive exchange of emails, comments on blog posts, articles in the press and other expressions of personal (and sometimes vehement) views about the Assange affair, I have put on my website a compendium of some of the more interesting and provocative thoughts about the legal and international issues which arise out of it.  The compendium, here, is mostly anonymous (except that ‘BB’ is pretty easily identifiable), and of course makes no claim to being comprehensive.  It’s just a roundup of some of the views that I have come across and found stimulating.  It also reproduces a few key texts.

I doubt if the compendium will warrant careful (or even casual) reading by very many visitors to this website.  But those who by background or hobby take a special interest in these rather arcane matters might like to glance through it, at leisure, in case anything in it strikes a spark — or leaps out as spectacularly wrong.  Either way, comments of all kinds on specific points in the compendium will be very welcome.  Please contribute any such comments here, at the foot of this blog post:  there is no provision for comments on the compendium itself.

The compendium can be accessed by clicking —

Why not have a look?


2 Responses

  1. Tim Weakley says:

    Your compendium is fascinating!  But I’d still like to know what the Australian government – as opposed to Australian organs of opinion – has to say, or has had to say, about the adventures and problems of someone who, I understand, is still an Australian citizen!

    Brian writes: Thank you, Tim. I’d be interested to know this too. (I think Assange or his supporters have complained that the Australian government isn’t doing enough to rescue him from the clutches of the FBI and the CIA, but they would complain about that, wouldn’t they?) No doubt 20 minutes with Google would reveal all. I’m off shortly to Lincoln, Birkenhead and Belfast on successive days until the end of next week so I shan’t have time to do the research. If you do, please share its results here!

  2. Andrew Kerr says:

    In his post “exploding legal myths”, David Allen Green states “any final word on an extradition would (quite properly) be with an independent Swedish court, and not the government giving the purported ‘guarantee’. ” This is disputed by Glenn Greenwald. …and if you dig through Greenwald’s sources you find a Swedish government website saying “The Government can, however, refuse extradition even if the Supreme Court has not declared against extradition, as the law states that if certain conditions are fulfilled, a person “may” be extradited – not “shall” be extradited” and a Swedish letter to the OAS saying “If the person sought does not consent to the extradition, the request for extradition is examined by Sweden’s Supreme Court before a final decision on extradition is made”.

    Brian writes: Thank you very much for this extremely interesting contribution. If the legal experts whom you and Mr Greenwald cite are correct in saying that even if the Swedish supreme court raised no objection to Assange’s extradition to the US (supposing that it had been sought), the Swedish government would still have the power legally to veto the execution of the extradition order, then theoretically I suppose the Swedish government could give the unconditional guarantee that Assange seeks, thus allowing him to emerge from the Ecuadorean embassy and go to Stockholm to face the music over the rape and other sex charges. But in real life, it’s inconceivable that any responsible government would contemplate for a second guaranteeing not to comply with any Assange extradition request from the Americans, regardless of the circumstances at the time, the nature of the charges which Assange would have to answer if extradited, any assurances that the Americans might give, etc. To issue such a blanket guarantee before an extradition application has even been received would make a nonsense of the Swedish-US extradition treaty and of the legal proceedings that an application would require. To say, as the New Statesman article referred to claims, that because such a guarantee is legally feasible, therefore it’s the Swedish (and UK!) government[s] that constitute the obstacle to Assange’s trial in Sweden on the sex charges is simply rubbish.

    I have added this exchange to the compendium.