Why Eurosceptics Should Back Assange

by craig on May 30, 2012 2:21 pm in Uncategorized

I have carefully read the entire judgements (including the dissenting ones) of the Supreme Court, dismissing Assange’s appeal against extradition. The appeal was on the narrow point of law that the Swedish Prosecutor was not a “Judicial Authority”, but rather a party to the case, and only a “judicial authority” can issue a European arrest warrant. That may sound dull. I hope to convince you it isn’t.

Eurosceptics are not the most natural supporters of Julian Assange, but they should be deeply disturbed by aspects of this judgement. So should anyone with a regard for personal liberty. Some of the points laid down by the majority judges are truly shocking.

Please read this part of Lord Kerr’s judgement. I suggest you read it several times.

117. It would be destructive of the international co-operation between states to
interpret the 2003 Act in a way that prevented prosecutors from being recognised
as legitimate issuing judicial authorities for European Arrest Warrants, simply
because of the well-entrenched principle in British law that to be judicial is to be

So the idea of an impartial judiciary is less important than obeying EU instruments, for which “international cooperation” is in this case a euphemism.

All of the judges accept that in ordinary English “Judicial authority” means a judge and a court, and not a prosecutor.

Lord Kerr says quite specifically:

101. The expression “judicial authority”, if removed from the extradition (or,
more properly, surrender) context, would not be construed so as to include
someone who was a party to the proceedings in which the term fell to be
considered. A judicial authority must, in its ordinary meaning and in the contexts
in which the expression is encountered in this jurisdiction other than that of
surrender, be an authority whose function is to make judicial decisions.

But Kerr then goes on to say that only in the context of European surrender/extradition, “judicial authority” should be understood in a way that is absolutely contrary to its normal English meaning. In a cavalier way Kerr dispenses with a fundamental principle of English Law for centuries, that words are to be construed in their ordinary sense – which every law student in the land learns in week 1 of their course.

The majority all rested their dismissal of the appeal on the grounds that the parliamentary Act of 2003 must be interpreted in line with the EU decision or “Framework Agreement” which it was created to implement. They specifically state that where there is conflict the EU Framework Agreement must take precedence over British law.

What follows is absolutely astonishing. The Framework Agreement in its English version specifically states, in Article 1, that the European Arrest Warrant must be issued by a “judicial decision”.

That really can only mean a court – it cannot mean a prosecutor on any construction.

Lord Philips seeks to get round this by a morally disgusting piece of legal casuistry. He states in terms that the French text should be followed and not the English (para 56 of the judgement). He argues: “The French version is the original and is to be preferred”.

But that contravenes an important and long established principle of international diplomacy. I have personally negotiated in both the EU and the UN and the essential and fully stated principle is that all official language texts have an equal validity. There is no “preferred original”. Lord Philips is just getting over an insuperable obstacle to his argument.

Having argued that the French text must be used and not the english text, Philips returns to the argument on which the whole judgement rests; that the French text is to be preferred to the English and that “judiciaire” has a more “vague” meaning than “judicial” (para 18). He rests this argument on a 1996 French dictionary and a google search.

Even if we accept that judiciaire has a vaguer meaning than judicial, the principle of interpreting international agreements based on the vaguest meaning of each of the individual words between the official languages would dissolve international law into inanity. There is a strong argument that where there is a conflict between languages the more precise and narrow formulation should be taken to be the most that can fairly be said to have been agreed by all.

The truth is that Philips and his fellow judges live in the real world, and were more concerned to please both the EU and the US by getting Assange extradited on charges that would not stand any genuine judicial investigation.

Assange is to be extradited on the argument that the British Act is subordinate to the European Framework, and that the english text of that is subordinate to the French text.

It is not surprising they dismissed an independent judiciary as unimportant. They are not one.

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  1. Hi Craig,

    Welcome back. I was following your recent blogging on your researches into Alexander Burnes and Britain’s first Afghan Imperial adventure.

    I had been unaware of this aspect of British history, apart from your mentions, until I watched Rory Stewart’s BBC program on Monday night (second episode tonight). I now see why he is worthy of further research.

    Did you see Rory Stewart’s program and any comments? My basic though is why are we only now being allowed to have the obvious folly of Afghan adventures discussed on prime-time TV. Is this softening up for our imminent troop withdrawal?


  2. French/European law follows Napoleonic Code. It’s a bugger to translate because the premises are different from UK law. In which case, it being a British court, UK Law/English translation should apply.

  3. Many thanks Craig for deciphering the legal sophistry of our noble Lords Philips & Kerr in this important case. As both a Eurosceptic, and someone who senses that Assange is being unjustly pursued by the PTB here, I agree that the judgement is ‘truly shocking’.

    BTW very glad to see you were so well received back in Brazil.

  4. Mods
    Still in Sao Paulo could someone pl correct typo in last sentence am on mobile.
    posting to Facebook still woorks
    Alposs check blog so I changed Facebook login to my normal email address you know password unchanged. If

  5. We are living in a fascist state. The judgement on Julian Assange was shocking.

  6. Yet they want the doctors to be on a pay freeze, work for longer and pay larger pension contributions.
    As of 1 April 2010, Justices of the Supreme Court, including the Deputy President, were in Group 2 of the judicial salary scheme, with an annual salary of £206,857. This is the same group as the Chancellor of the High Court, Lord Justice Clerk, President of the Family Division and President of the Queen’s Bench Division.[1] The President of the Supreme Court, Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Lord President of the Court of Session and Master of the Rolls make up Group 1.1 of the scale on £214,165, below only the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, who earns £239,845.[1]
    That was two years ago. I bet they are not on a pay freeze and how much pension do they collect?

  7. Www.NoAgendashow.com

    30 May, 2012 - 5:47 pm

    #itm folks, Words matter as they say!

    Its the same skirting around anything that gets in the way that allows Obama to Drone anyone that is fortunate enough to be nominated by the droning panel. Including their own citizens.

    Dont drone me bro!

  8. Watch,DEBTOCRACY,online

    30 May, 2012 - 5:52 pm

    The Greek debt is Odious.!!

  9. FoWL (Friends of WikiLeaks)

    30 May, 2012 - 6:26 pm

    Excellent analysis, thank you!

  10. Craig, typo corrected; I don’t understand the rest, about Facebook, e-mail and login.

  11. The judgement today is a travesty of justice, it is determining the position of judges lining up behind Obama’s backside, tongue’s at the ready, no more, what a bunch of law benders, french text? whatever next, garlic for breakies?

    Something to make you all laugh. If u-turns are done by anyother main party, except the Conservative dimdumb coalition, its called ‘weakness and febrile’.
    According to some young thing called chloe, its a sign of the Conservatives listening and acting upon it.


    Could have me fooled, some 65.000, mostly conservative voters, voted against a technological nightmare incinerator from a dubious US company called wheelabrator, a company that has not build one since 1995 and has no nous of modern MTB and gasification processes.

  12. I agree that the judges are not independent. Decisions are made in the Grand Lodge, or somewhere, not based on any independent hearing or consideration, not based on English or European law, but they have nothing to do with justice. As well as this being true in Assange’s defence today there is a staunch case for holding an inquest into Dr David Kelly’s death. But this is not part of the agenda that these overpaid farts support. When a man clearly breaks the law, as David Lawley Wakelin did two days ago, breaking into the Leveson Inquiry, the police and prosecution service decide they are not going to charge or prosecute him. Now I believe Wakelin was right to say what he did about Tony Blair being a war criminal, which every sane person knows to be a fact, but Wakelin broke the law by intruding into the Inquiry. However, it is not in the interest of this same establishment to prosecute, so they don’t. They want to see Assange sent to Sweden on trumped-up charges from female CIA officers to get him extradited to the US because it is part of the secret agenda. But it is not part of the secret agenda to give an honest man a platform to explain why Tony Blair is what he is. Here is a very short film made by the honest man explaining his position.

  13. “but Wakelin broke the law by intruding into the Inquiry”

    Say to that what the law says, “its not against the law if its in the public interest”, which is what “David Lawley Wakelin did two days ago”. No case to answer.

  14. But the point about all of this – Levenson, the Assange judgement, whatever – is not that we are ruled by criminals, whether in politicians’ robes or judges’ wigs. It’s that we’ve always been thus. And even now when it’s becoming so much more apparent, no-one in the UK actually gives a bugger. As long as they had iPhones and Sky TV, the GBP would vote for Adolph Hitler.

    I’ve given up using the term neo-con when it comes to UK and US govts – and their paymasters in Tel-Aviv. We’re talking neo-nazi, no question about it in my mind. Of course we don’t use such crude terms as anschluss and lebensraum any more – the PR and spin is far too well developed these days.

    In 1945+ a German nation protested “but we didn’t know!” Mainly of course because they didn’t much care to know. Just as so many people in Europe and the USA don’t much care to know now.

  15. But you miss the point Guest. I know you’re being facetious but the reason they have not charged him is because they do not want to give him a platform where the press could show what he said ‘was in the public interest’. These people, Blair, Straw et al, are the real criminals who should be answering to the courts of justice.

  16. Sadly Wayfarer the majority are complacent. Not those who comment on this blog though.

  17. I’ve just scan-read the report though not the appendixes and nearly laughed out loud when I got to para 72
    72. I turn now to Miss Rose’s reliance on the meaning of “autorité judiciaire”
    (“legal authority”) in the context of article 5, to which I referred at para 21. I there
    set out article 5.1(c). Article 5.3 provides: Page 27
    “Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of
    paragraph 1(c) of this article shall be brought promptly before a
    judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power
    and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time…”
    How does the above fit in with the detention without trial of Babar Ahmad?

  18. John Goss, yes I know that. That is the reason Blair can’t sue anyone, he doesn’t want a court case, all those e-mails etc, having to go into the witness box, Blair must have nightmares, waking up in a cold sweat at the thought of it all. I bet he doesn’t give a thought about just one of his millions of victims.

  19. geekeconomist

    30 May, 2012 - 10:27 pm

    Not only Eurosceptics but also Euroenthusiasts (like I am) should consider this case carefully and pay attention to coverage and enforcement of rule of law and to protection of human rights in Europe. Today’s ruling by UK Supreme Court sets a bad precedent for European citizens and citizens from third countries residing temporarily or permanently in Europe. You can be extradited without being formally charged and without a judge issuing the EAW. In the Assange case a rogatory letter procedure and questioning in UK would have saved a lot of time and of EU taxpayers’ money.
    This make us believe that the Swedish prosecutor has different objectives than the resolution of the specific case for which she seeked extradition instead of assistance to local authorities to do questioning in a different country.

    In Italy, judges and proscutors who have to question someone abroad asks for support to judicial authorities in the country concerned and go there for interrogation purposes.

    Another aspect of this case is the pending but blatant risk of extradition from Sweden to US (a country which provided official evidence of use of torture and with death penalty as current practice) too often with a fast track procedure circumventing rights set by ECHR.
    Is the abuse of EAW combined with bilateral extraditions agreements between US and EU member states creating a new sophisticated architecture replacing extraordinary renditions? http://bit.ly/Jtum32
    Europe has to avoid that.

    Concerning the legal aspects of today’s ruling, I read today that French prosecutors are *NOT* judiciary in at least 2 European Court of Human Rights cases https://www.flashback.org/sp37608362.
    And in Italy, Supreme Court clarified that EAW is not to be granted for questioning and that it must be issued by a judge (p. 13) http://bit.ly/zBmiQ0

    In the EU Institutions all documents published in the 23 official language can be referred to indistinctly. All language versions have same value. There are three main working languages: English, French and German. No one prevails on the other. And within the EC, 90% of times the original drafting is in English.
    The argument on languages and wording by Lord Philips is groundless.

  20. Craig

    Thank you for fastening on key absurdities in the majority verdict on the Assange extradition case. Surely some of the libertarian and, indeed, Eurosceptic websites and blogs will be appalled at this preference for franglais, this denial of what words in English mean. A prosecutor is not a judge, at least in Common Law.

    I will be doing what I can to make sure that as many as possible who matter politically are aware of this terrible majority verdict. I hope others will be doing so as well; and reporting here on any success in eliciting supportive comments.
    Is there any way to call for the removal of Lords Kerr and Philips on the ground that those illiterate in English cannot be trusted to interpret English Law?

  21. Saw Rory’s second take on Afghanistan and duly felt he missed out a few important points, like the CIA’s concerted plans to create/fund a new kind of radical islam in the Madrassas of Pakistan, like the fact that Bin laden was trained by the CIA in black ops arts, sic, that he was the CIA’s bagman in Afghanistan.

    It was a very sanitised version designed to appeal to breach the ga[p between those in the know who are informing the public, regardless of the misinformation that is spread and those who’d like, still, to pull the right colour weave over our eyes.

    The question has to be asked. Why, if his visit was in 2002/3, has it taken ten years to edit? what makes it now important?

    Is it because we have to justify our imminent exit somehow, save face, once again, having covered up and hidden bodies, with more of the same. A sad indightment, I had high hopes for Rory, I think he could have been a usefull mediator and facillitator in future, when Tajiks will square up to Pashtuns in a power vaccum of our making.
    I feel that Irans situation, faced with large US basdes at its eastern borders and that of Afghanistan, flush with weapons NATOP has to leave behind due to their logistic nightmare, could produce a future alliance the west has never seen before.

  22. Mary,

    People should really be concerned when habeas corpus is being pushed aside.

    This is an important exchange for all concerned about the relations of us – “human beings”:-


  23. Iain,

    ” Is there any way to call for the removal of Lords Kerr and Philips on the ground that those illiterate in English cannot be trusted to interpret English Law?”

    Exposure – exposure – and more exposure.

    I have one in the ECHR – and they simply play politics.

  24. Mark my words Thompson

    31 May, 2012 - 2:19 am

  25. Jay Stephens

    31 May, 2012 - 2:46 am

    Hi Craig. Great article for non-legal-experts-and-laymen such as myself. I have a question which has been at the back of my mind for years due to various similar cases in the past, but which this has really brought to the fore for me.
    Put in very, very crude terms, might it be fair to say this is an example of English law rubbing up against a system influenced by a napoleonic/inquisitorial history, and having to get compromised as a result?
    Not to say that those other systems are any less good, just that if you start accepting some of their terms within the British framework, things break?

  26. I feel a backlash is coming, its a matter of fundamental rights and principles. It will be a backlash to the last 10 years of erosion of human rights in the name of the ‘war on terror’…. to the spending of kazillions on arms, while many starve to death or die of treatable disease….. to the corporatisation of sport and its sell out to big gambling, to the perversion and monopolisation of the traditional media….to the politicians with their self serving obscene pensions and benefits, to Big mining, the Big Pharmas, the corporate barons with their tame remuneration companies, arms traders and drug lords. It will be a backlash to greed corruption and state abuse in all its forms and guises. It is disgust and disillusionment on a massive scale

  27. This is an unpleasant account by two unknowns of yesterday’s proceedings. The legal niceties are lost on them in their emphasis on sex and notoriety. I should think Pilger would roar as being described as a celebrity.

  28. Peter Allen and Rachel Burden talking to Nicky “The Red” Cambell

    THe ECB was described on Radio 5 this Morning As bein called “the Hoover” Buying up all the assets for sale in athens then the line broke.
    we all went to heaven in a little row boat…

    Its all to plan folks its how they work so Ihave learned.

  29. *unt is on at Leveson at 10am.

  30. I have never heard of Rachel Burden. I see she is an Irish national. I wonder what she thinks of the parlous state of the Irish economy brought down by crooked and greedy bankers and developers and then wiped out by the ECB/IMF etc.
    Peter Allen did not get the job to replace Humphreys on Radio 4 Today. Not posh enough apparently. He is an ‘Essex boy’ according to the Torygraph and went to the same school as Straw.

  31. Almost every court throughout England and the United States does this same thing, almost every day. The judges interpret the law in the politically expedient way. Julian was finished from the beginning. Too many powerful people have it in for him. And we are not getting enough anger from the general public about any of our major problems to make a difference. Very often the good guy loses. Just look at Jesus Christ.

  32. Indeed PalSimon, but sometimes the good guys win.
    Three empires have thought that they can rule Afghanistan, all of them failed.
    Maybe we should take this hint with a fencepost right behind our ears, it is an example of courage and determination.

    Julian Assange is in a mucking fuddle, if he gets extradited to Sweden he’ll join Jesus, mark my word, if the Ami’s get their hands on him he’s toast.

  33. meanwhile, a new british ambassador in Tashkent.

  34. willyrobinson

    31 May, 2012 - 10:46 am

    Well written and well argued.
    If this judgement can be challenged, then the supreme court will have to decide between letting Assange remain, or letting this mockery become a precedent…
    Which means it’s off to Sweden to stand trial, but at least he’ll have made the establishment shit on their own laws in the process.

  35. Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt is adopting the role of the naughty (public) school boy up before the beak who is debating to himself whether he is going to get the cane. He looks as if he might burst into tears quite soon. As red in the face and as sweaty as Bliar on Monday. I really believe he has convinced himself that he has done nothing wrong.
    Should have stuck to the money making Hotcourses!

  36. John Pilger on yesterday’s ‘proceedings’.
    Unjust legal saga continues for Assange

  37. “We are living in a fascist state.” – we are Mary and Julian is a powerful force who recently postulated powerful and valid questions to ‘Occupy’ academia. Playing ‘devils advocate’ he explored various ways the movement could be undermined by sedition and government ‘plants’ creating schism or attempts to divert the cause by overwhelming ‘face to face’ camps with transients and ex-cons seeking welfare.
    Without blowing my own trumpet I can tell you since my telling on Syria’s massacres/executions I have been locked out of commenting in the Washington Post by ‘system errors’ and the Independent/Telegraph are not inviting further comments or opinion on the latest threat of foreign military intervention outside of international law.
    Foreign fighters in Syria have been frustrated by recent arms seizures by boat or border crossings. Clandestine operations by interested parties have intensified in an attempt to prevent rebels and terrorists from receiving heavy armament such as shoulder fired mortars and automatic weapons. That is the reason American paid thugs are now organizing the Israeli contrived ‘murder by stealth’ of women and children in areas where government forces are actively driving out conclaves of assailants. This action of course invites intervention forgetting the American and British massacres of women and children in Iraq! Fucking mockery.

  38. Article has been linked to on Assange\Wikileaks Twitter feed, so likely to get a few hits.

    I’m afraid though that the ‘argument’ – crafted soundbite really – that Assange should ‘man up and face charges’ is curiously popular. A perfectly intelligent and decent person in my work said much the same thing to me. I merely replied ‘nonsense’. My colleagues is a nice chap, and he’s entitled to his opinion, but it clearly wasn’t worth arguing the point, not in the workplace; it’s not really a point anyway, just a repetition of bad journalism. And he’s wrong. Alas, his view is common, certainly amongst those who aren’t all that interested in the trial.

    And it’s sad that Mr Murray, not a journalist as such, tells us something interesting in his blog, whilst many actual journalists forget to bother. Joshua Rozenberg had a stab at it, though from memory failed to mention the acceptance of the French definition. And The Guardian do a live blog, so that’s something, though I don’t think the blog is much cop. But mostly such matters pass the world of journalism by. Do they teach aspiring journalists that their role is to disseminate propaganda and lies, self-censor, and hide truths in the name of national interest? It sometimes looks like it.

    Still, who needs to read the MSM anymore? Not I, that’s for sure. If you look at the MSM as entertainment, then they don’t do much harm, it’s better to read books anyway if you actually want to understand stuff.

  39. “We are living in a fascist state.”
    That’s an exaggeration. I don’t why anyone feels the need to exaggerate this or hype it up – aren’t the facts bad enough already?
    Great post Craig – welcome back.

  40. Chienfou Have it your own way. Just wait.

  41. How very kind of the Occupier to return the mortal remains of 91 Palestinians to their loved ones. Some have been in Israeli possession since the 70s.
    ZBC is still sticking to their description of the elected government in Gaza as the ‘Islamist militant Hamas movement’ whereas the head PA stooge Abbas has no mandate. That expired several years back. He is therefore not the Palestinian ‘President’.

  42. The Israel shill Jon Donnison knows very well that there were not ‘hundreds’ of hunger strikers. There were over 1,600.
    Two men launched the strike on Feb. 28, refusing food for 77 days, becoming the longest ever Palestinian hunger strikers. At least 1,600 other Palestinian prisoners, more than a third of the prison population, joined the strike on April 17, fasting for 27 days.

  43. Thanks for stopping to post this analysis, Craig, when you’re so busy.

    It is both an encouragement and of practical help to all supporters of Julian and Bradley to have someone so able commenting on proceedings.

  44. Mary: “Chienfou Have it your own way. Just wait.”
    Ditto, Mary, ditto. I am just waiting (have been for a few years) for the financial armageddon to get so bad that theres a national emergency government of all the three main parties to be formed, and to declare that while it lasts there will be no more elections for a “short while”…we should live so long. It was planned out a long time ago to be this way.

  45. Nice post.

    Political suspicions aside, I’m actually rather baffled by the decision reached in this case. What I can’t seem to get my head around is why there are two separate definitions of ‘judicial authority’. The British interpretation of ‘judicial authority’ is merely a statement of fact: it is a body that, to all intents and purposes, makes judicial decisions; in other words, a judge or a panel of judges. This is contrasted with the European interpretation of judicial authority, which, from what I can see, is the broadest definition possible: it effectively encompasses any major player in the legal system. I find this deeply upsetting for two reasons: 1) it means that any prosecutorial authority can compel witnesses from any European state when required , 2) it means that European extradition effectively neuters the legal status of national courts – which in all reality must be given a firm say in any matter concerning the extradition of its citizens. Taken together, the new legal dispensation means that the right of citizens to a fair trial can be suspended (and negated) by the whims of a supranational legal entity.

    Have I got this wrong?

  46. Prosecutors in civil law systems belong to the judicial branch. In common law systems like the UK, they do not. (At least, I assume so. In the U.S., where I live, I know they do not.)

  47. “Chienfou Have it your own way. Just wait.”
    Wait? The world is in a mess. Isn’t it better to try to do something about it?
    Hyperbole and exaggeration encourages the view that there is nothing that can be done – that it’s all hopeless. Why not use what you know to highlight ways for people to fight back? That might stop us becoming a fascist state.

  48. Guest,
    Must commend your optimism: believing that elections are of any consequence in the current single party system that has set up three main head quarters for the benefit of ease of access to all tastes.
    The movies teach us that for fascism to exist, everyone should be wearing a military uniform, a monocle, sport a mustache, zeig heil everything in sight, and click their heels when they a see a woman, and all pronounce their “W”s as “V”s, and pretend to like listening to thunderous classical music. Based on this education we can safely assume fascism does not exist and we are living freely and in peace and prosperity.
    Never mind the raging wars and expansionist policies of the fascio in charge, and corporate friendly laws, that include the electronic cameras that read vehicle number plates and consult the insurance industry computers (private sector) as to make the roads safer with the ever increasing costs of insurance, creating a market which is considered dysfunctional by any standards, and even there are admissions to that effect judging by the noises being made lately.
    Fact that supreme justices are busy pushing the party line and interpreting the laws in a more party friendly fashion is only a display of the unity of government and upper crust, and has nothing to do with the lack of independence of the judiciary from the unitary party line.

  49. With one bound, Hunt was free! Even before he had left the vicinity of the Courts of Justice, Cameron was announcing that he would not be referring Hunt to the parliamentary watchdog. A token vote of confidence? Hunt has the moral fibre of an earthworm. He had considered his position, ie resigning, but decided that Adam Smith should go having told him earlier that he would be OK.

  50. Fedup
    Yes, I knew that, what I said above will happen, they are not going to allow any other party that may spring up and take advantage of the financial armageddon to gain anykind of power. Its called forward planning.
    “We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we’d like to do our best to preserve that system.”
    Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

  51. Assange was finished as soon as the European Arrest Warrant was issued and judged to be valid by the UK immigration court. Under the terms of the treaty, extradition was meant to be “fast-tracked”, and close to a formality. The UK courts don’t, and neither does the Home Secretary, have the right any longer to examine the basis of the offence allegedly committed under the terms of the EAW, all that’s been taken care of, in theory, by the judicial authority that issued the warrant in the first place. The UK’s role is merely to impliment the terms of the warrant without undue delay, the UK courts don’t have the powers, any longer, to scrutinize whether any crime has been committed, or whether UK law has been broken, all that is irrelevant under the terms of the treaty.
    So the EAW is an incredibly powerful document once issued. What’s even more disturbing is that now the UK Supreme Court has accepted that a warrant can be issued not by a neutral judge on the basis of specific and named charges, but merely by a prosecutor, who obviously isn’t neutral, and just for the purpose of facilitating an interview, which may or may not lead to charges and a subsequent trial, all this fundamentally undermines basic and very old human rights as they are normally understood in the UK.
    And think, Assange has been under house arrest and been forced to wear an electronic tag on his ankle for over a year, like he was a criminal or suspect, and all without any charges being presented, and for alleged actions, offences, which arguably are not even seen as crimes in the UK!
    And it’s not just Assange. Every year well over a thousand people are extradited out of the UK, mostly for petty crimes, under the terms of the draconian European Arrest Warrant, and now the UK courts have actually made it even easier to inforce than previously.
    PS It’s a fundamental mistake to equate new-style fascism, with old-style fascism, with its militarism, uniforms, torch-lit marches, and crass symbolism. Todays’s fascists wear business suits and many of the leaders are women. The old trappings, for obvious reasons, have been dumped. New-style fascism is the gradual merging of the State, the military, the corporations, and the media, also known as the propaganda-wing of the State, into a new whole, that functions without restrictions and towers over society, a society where democracy has been side-lined and has virtually no restrictive capacity in relation to the new-styl fascist State.

  52. If, by way of example – an applicant ( prosecutor) wanted to obtain a “Restraint Order” under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, then:-
    A. A prosecutor – or – applicant – makes an application to a court.
    B. The application made to the court is a tribunal over which a Judge ( read “ Judicial Authority” ) presides.
    C. Then – a decision for – or – against grant of the “Restraint Order” is made.
    How can A be the same as B? Surely, since what the prosecutor thinks or thought he/she could get by way of submission to a “Judicial authority” simply cannot be the same as the decision which finally the “Judicial authority” makes.
    A prosecutor’s decision is simply not the same as a determination by a “ Judicial authority”.
    To put is simply – a judicial authority is authority derived from the exercise of a Judge’s authority/judicial power and pertains to the office which the judge holds. A judicial authority is the authority pertaining to the office of a judge. The judge hears and then determines the issue, question or legal matter in question.
    Leap-frogging from prosecutor to “judicial authority” simply does not make for sound judicial reasoning.
    Is what the prosecutor decides he might get in point of law – the same as what a judge decides can be obtained under law?
    A fish is not a fowl – but this is indeed a “foul” decision against Assange.
    The court has conflated procedural justice with substantive law – and the fish has thus been mixed with the “foul”.
    P.S. Be it also noted that learned counsel pointed out to their Lordships that the decision was based on a point that had not been argued before the court – thus the permission to make an additional application. In layman’s terminology, the judges shifted the goal posts.

  53. Sorry, the paragraph thingy didn’t work for me, damn!

  54. Looking back on what I just posted:-

    ” A fish is not a fowl – but this is indeed a “foul” decision against Assange.
    The court has conflated procedural justice with substantive law – and the fish has thus been mixed with the “foul”.”

    With that type of liguistic slip slide – methinks I now qualfify to be a judge (ha…ha!)

  55. I hope this English precedent will not be carried out in Scotland where of course Scots law applies.

  56. Writerman, I put dots in the blank lines; is that OK?

  57. The Assange case is also sending out a very powerful message to all those who would stand up against or dare to criticise the state/status quo….If the state sets out to get you, it will, and don’t you EVER forget it….Fear is like a weapon, and many bend before it, it explains why so many good people are turning a blind eye to all that is happening.
    “First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

  58. “If the state sets out to get you, it will”
    meh. there are surely much more important things to never forget than the possibility of being squashed by higher powers for doing the right thing.

  59. It doesn’t follow that Assange will actually be charged with any offence in Sweden.
    It’s extraordinary the number of people who think, and one can forgive them for this, as it’s the impression one gets from the media, that Assange is wanted for the charge of rape in Sweden and that’s why the Swedes want to extradite him, to answer these charges, and this is why they decided to issue a European Arrest Warrant.
    However, there are no formal legal charges against Assange at all. He hasn’t been charged with anything by the Swedish authorites. The Swedes, supposedly, only want to interview him in connection with serious alligations about sexual misconduct of various types, based on interviews they carried out with two women, none of whom allege that they were “raped” by Assange.
    It’s odd that the Swedes contend that Assange’s alleged actions are so serious that they require his extradition from the UK to be interviewed, but, at the same time they don’t think his actions, or their evidence that any crime has infact taken place is strong enough to issue a warrant for his arrest or issue charges. This seems somewhat paradoxical to me.
    With what appear such a weak case, it’s amazing that the Swedish prosecutor has invested so much time and energy in this affair. People assume Assange will, is returning to stand trial in Sweden, but this isn’t certain. The poor chap hasn’t even been charged with anything, so assuming he’s going to stand trial is jumping the gun somewhat!
    As there are no witnesses, sex-tapes, or physical evidence about what happened in the privacy of the bedroom between Assange and these women, how on earth does one prove in a court of law that any crime occured? It’s Assange’s version of events versus the woman involved. Is Assange likely to admit to any crime during questioning, or do the Swedes believe they can get him on a technicality, trip him up, into admitting to some sexual act, or behaviour, that under Sweden’s fiendishly complex sex laws, ammounts to a form of rape?
    Will, if there’s a trial, which isn’t certain, it all ammount to who the judges believe is telling the truth about what happened in the privacy of the bedroom during consensual sex between two people who barely know each other, tastes, and sexual behaviour patterns. How does one establish under these circumstances, who is telling the truth and whose version of events is accurate?

  60. Damn! I did it again, forgot the flippin’ paragraph thingy, sorry!

  61. http://www.johnpilger.com/articles/the-leveson-inquiry-into-the-british-press-oh-what-a-lovely-game
    I love the man, agree with what he says and the style of his writing.

  62. Through Assange’s politcal traverses it is now slowly dawning on us that European law subordinates all others, thats any prosecutor can make it work for them and that judges have become redundant so it seems, we have French laws to quote after all.
    Tris, as long as Scotland stays in Europe its laws will be subject to the same subordination, and despite the EU courts overflowing with a backlog of cases, making justice a wishfull thinking in an uncetrtain future, this will stay as it is, unless the SNP and Greens have something up their sleeves.
    “If the state sets out to get you, it will”
    WEll yes, unless you are an Afghan with a Kalashnikov and a few hundred equally determined fellow fighters. If Assange is an example to the politisation of the swedish judicial system, with brownie points garnered by their prosecutor, then so is the successfull lon term resistance of Afghans to the invasion of their country by the third empire.
    So EU law supersseds our national laws and is used by swedish prosecutors for an ‘interview’ of a possible suspect. Assange is Australian, afaik, so if he would be ‘wanted by another EU state, for non paying of parking fines, or toher, then this should superseed any other extradition request from outside, going by the original french text. By this hirarchy, EU law would superseed any extradition agreements with a country outside the EU, and Sweden would have no say in this.
    Unless thwere are extradition laws which have bee agreed globally to superseed all other, in which case the US, with regards to their own soldiers/citizens falling under such laws, would have opted out of them, making them wholly inapropriate to use, a one way street.
    This whole affair is disgusting to watch and it is spun one way. Lets hope RT, using its own spin, can take this EU edifice apart, it can not be done by Julian himself.

  63. Viktor Tullgren

    1 Jun, 2012 - 10:53 am

    Actually I think this whole process is absurd. And to say that this is a human rights issue is just laughable. What this whole debate has been about is Assange trying to find some way to avoid geting extradited to face charges. Then a bunch of his supporters have tried to fabricate som form of conspiracy. Mostly by trying to question the swedish legal system.

    This situation here is an obvious example. Were the question is simply a mater of procedure. In this case when we talk about the arrest warent. The Swedish system is such that a prosecutor issues an arrest warent and this will stand unless challenged. If challenged then the court will decide if the warent should stand. In the case of Assange this has happened. And the warent has been upheld twice. So the swedish court has judged in this case, twice.

    The only question in this case has been wether or not UK should follow their international obligations through signed treaties or if the court should strike down a law based on a possible bad choice of word. There has never been a question about the swedish prosecutor being a judicial authority as it was defined according to the treaty.

  64. Where oh where has Werritty gone? He’s missing the Jubilee.

  65. Just another day at the office at top of civil service
    Sir Jeremy Heywood assured MPs that everything is rosy with bosom pal Sir Bob Kerslake


  66. Sorry to high-jack this thread, but there is an article at the Herald detailing the contents of a secret goverenment report on Lockerbie.

    “The highly classified document, which has never even been aired in public or shared with the courts, originally came from Jordan and indicates that a Palestinian terrorist group was involved in the bombing that killed 270 people – something the UK Government has vehemently denied.


    Neither the BBC or any other news organisation is running with it showing how sensitive this is.

  67. Hows the weather in occupied Palestine Geomannie

  68. and how are the killings of children and innocent occupantees going, geomannie?

  69. Hmm and then, Geomannie, there is evidence that points to the involement of more sophisticated, what a sick word, powers at work, the CIA perhaps. Do we now disregard it?

  70. Have you looked at the comments on that Herald piece? I almost prefer the Times readership’s opinions.
    The Herald is owned by Newsquest, an offshoot of the US press conglomerate Gannett.
    Judging from this list I would judge that Israel’s interests are foremost.

  71. http://www.gannett.com/section/WHOWEARE01
    From: The Coverage and Non-Coverage of Israel-Palestine
    Written by Alison Weir {http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org/news/mediabias/item/569-coverage}

    My own personal experiences with newspaper chains have been illuminating.
    A few years ago a reporter from the Gannett newspapers planned to do an article about me and If Americans Knew, which had just begun operating. Gannett is one of the largest news outlets in the nation, with 102 daily newspapers in the United States, including USA Today, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper, for a combined daily paid circulation of 7.6 million readers. Gannett also owns a variety of non-daily publications and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine of 22.7 million circulation delivered in more than 600 Gannett and non-Gannett newspapers. As if this weren’t enough, Gannett also owns and operates 21 television stations covering almost 20 percent of the country.
    Needless to say, a Gannett article about our fledgling organization was quite exciting. He interviewed me at considerable length about my experiences in the West Bank and Gaza, sent out a photographer to take pictures of me at home, and directed her to Fed Ex them immediately.
    Then we waited. After a few months, I e-mailed him to ask if I’d missed the piece. He e-mailed back, no I hadn’t missed it. The article had been shelved: “… the top guy here feels like the story is ‘missing’ something.” The article, apparently, is still on the shelf.

    {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gannett} Revenue $5.4 billion Income just under $1 billion

  72. “Hows the weather in occupied Palestine Geomannie”

    “and how are the killings of children and innocent occupantees going, geomannie?”

    You miss my point, unless you mean to.

    I was alluding to the fact that the UK government have suppressed a report that casts doubt as to the perpetrators of the Lockerbie bombing, and would have been highly relevant to the Camp Zeist trial.

  73. That ‘Future of the USA’ article is quite possibly the most wrong-headed thing I’ve ever read. It seems to have no grasp on the formation of the ‘national security state’ and completely ignores the fact that on foreign policy, the two parties have not been this close since the Cold War. At home, it mistakes the fractiousness deliberately cultivated through ‘the culture wars’ for a bug rather than a feature. The policy is divide and rule and it’s working brilliantly.

  74. re Lockerbie think most of the information including docs is herehttp://www.scribd.com/stax68/d/52409411-Lockerbie-The-Flight-From-Justice-Paul-Foot-Private-Eye-Special-Report

  75. lucythediclonius

    1 Jun, 2012 - 1:55 pm

  76. Viktor “So the swedish court has judged in this case, twice.”
    Isn’t that the point being made here? The extradiction request has not come from a Swedish Court but from a prosecutor.
    And fortunately, when it comes to applying the rule of law, the meaning of words is everything. Defining words arbitrarily, as Lord Kerr seems to be doing,is something that happens in totalitarian states not democratic ones.

  77. geomannie, sorry then.

  78. Viktor Tullgren

    1 Jun, 2012 - 3:52 pm

    Chienfou, yes and my point is that this is just a question of procedure no a human rights issue. In UK the prosecutor request a warent from a judge who issues it. In Sweden the prosecutor issus the warent and this can then be challenged and at which point a judge will decide if the warent should stand or not.

    And yes I agree that the meaning of the word is important. Which is why this is an absurd diskussion. Because the meaning of a word always depend upon its context. And in this context the meaning of these words have always been clear. What Assanges lawyers wanted to do was to apply the meaning of the words in a different context to change the meaning and intention of the law and the treaty.

  79. Victor, what prevents the prosecutor iterviewing him at the Swedish embassy in London? If this case warrants an EAW, such an important issue as it is made out by your judges, not political at all, then why not take that opportunity to proceed the case, it was offered by the accused?

    MI6 went and interviewed Cdr. Belhadj, when he was imprisoned and tortured in Libya, they showed an interest in his obviously important case, so they’d been told, only to find out that he survived and has now turned the tables on them and Jack Straw, suing them for wrong detention and torture, but they went to Libya to do it.

    Why is the Swedish prosecutor recitant, why is she prolonging the case and subsequent media circus, further increasing the ‘conspiracy’ as you called it, over fears that Sweden will extradite him?
    If it is not complicated and staright forward why not come here and do it, over and done with.
    Why choose this strenuous means to prolong the agony?

  80. Two war criminals on our screens in one week. Bliar Monday and tonight Alastair Campbell, the spindoctor of the false dossier fame, is the host on Have I Got News For You. Why do Hislop and Merton go along with it? BBC 1 9.30

  81. “Why do Hislop and Merton go along with it?”
    I heard a few years ago that they each get £25,000 a show. If so,theres 25,000 reasons for you ?.

  82. Hillary Clinton now in Norway. Due to go to Stockholm for a one-day visit Sunday.

  83. Mass unemployment. Hopeless youth. Riots. Austerity – and the IMF telling us how much to spend and what to spend it on. Oh, and the Queen, making us all feel good even though we’re swimming in shite. At least the bankers weren’t such a pernicious force in 1977. We should have made this song Number 1. Let’s download it and make it so. There’s no future in England’s dreaming.

    God save the queen
    The fascist regime
    They made you a moron
    Potential H-bomb

    God save the queen
    She ain’t no human being
    There is no future
    In England’s dreaming

    Don’t be told what you want
    Don’t be told what you need
    There’s no future, no future,
    No future for you

    God save the queen
    We mean it man
    We love our queen
    God saves

    God save the queen
    ‘Cause tourists are money
    And our figurehead
    Is not what she seems

    Oh God save history
    God save your mad parade
    Oh Lord God have mercy
    All crimes are paid

    When there’s no future
    How can there be sin
    We’re the flowers in the dustbin
    We’re the poison in your human machine
    We’re the future, your future

    God save the queen
    We mean it man
    We love our queen
    God saves

    God save the queen
    We mean it man
    And there is no future
    In England’s dreaming

    No future, no future,
    No future for you
    No future, no future,
    No future for me

    No future, no future,
    No future for you
    No future, no future
    For you

  84. Viktor Tullgren

    2 Jun, 2012 - 3:01 am

    Nevermind: Well nothing prevents prosecutor from interviewing him at the Swedish embassy in London. Except that the prosecutor dosen’t just want to interview Assange but also wants to formally make him a suspect of the crime, a process that in the swedish juridical process is the first step in order to bring charges to someone. At which point Assange will also get access to all the evidence against him. Since this is done in order to bring him to trial it is rather obvious that the prosecutor would want to get Assange to sweden in order for this to happen. i mean this whole process is meant to bring him before a court which will be able to decide if he is guilty of the crimes he is being accused of or if he isn’t.

  85. Excellent Mike. The BBC’s Witchell actually spoke to Republic’s
    Graham Smith who was allowed a few seconds of airtime as opposed to the thousands of hours of propaganda we have been subjected to.

  86. We have not forgotten Bradley Manning still languishing under Obama’s heel and being subjected to a secret court martial.

  87. Thanks Victor, Personally I find this wholly unacceptable given the rabid noises made by a plethora of US politicians, lawyers and media outlets, they are baying for his blood.

    Swedens extradition laws with the US should not have precedence over this case and unless Sweden recognises that the US does not recognise the EU’s ICC and effectively operates a one sided extradition treaty that shields its own citizens from due justice for crimes committed in Europe, and there are many examples of it, Julian should not be handed over to Sweden.

    Sweden is either a European country with integrity, or it follows the bad example set by the US. I rest my case.

  88. This toady and Conservative Friend of Israel, is the instigator to rename the tower which houses Big Ben the Elizabeth Tower.
    Note which countries he visits, the reasons for going and who pays.
    The John Lewis who gave him £2000 is a private individual and not the department store.

  89. The 416th death of a member of the British army in Afghanistan is reported.

  90. A different *unt writes total crap about Her Maj’s corgis and horses.
    Peter Hunt
    News correspondent
    A day at the races is a fitting start to a celebration of a reign in which horses have provided such pleasure.
    ++Like her corgis, they’re blissfully unaware of the Queen’s status.++
    As a child, she confided in her riding instructor that but for her destiny, she would have liked to be a lady living in the country surrounded by animals.
    As an adult, they’ve been her chief relaxation and escape.
    Her lifelong enthusiasm began at the age of four when her grandfather, King George V, gave her a Shetland pony called Peggy.
    Eight decades on, and now aged 86, she still rides without a riding hat.
    The Queen’s a passionate horse breeder and racer. The breeding’s in the blood. The Royal Stud was founded in the 16th Century.
    She’s won four out of the five flat racing Classics.

    On yer bike Mr Hunt!

    The Derby continues to elude her.


  91. Mary,
    Take a gander at his voting record, and you will find Tobias to be a stalwart supporter of the rich and the powerful. Tobias a twenty four carat arsehole, is sadly endowed with common features of the current bunch of busy bodies come “representatives” bent on ruining the quality of our lives.

  92. Yes I see. Interesting connections too.
    ‘Following his re-election to Parliament, Ellwood was appointed PPS to then Defence Secretary, Dr. Liam Fox, and in October 2011 was appointed PPS to the Minister for Europe The Rt. Hon David Liddington MP in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.’
    Both Fox and Liddington are Friends of Israel apart from their other allegiances.

  93. Seems to be all but forgotten, thats the way some want it.
    ‘Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster in Japan.’

  94. Viktor Tullgren

    2 Jun, 2012 - 12:53 pm

    Nevermind: I’ve never understood why some people thinks it is more likely that he will be extradited from Sweden then from the UK. I know that the UK court didn’t se this as likely and dismissed it.

  95. Thanks Guest. V interesting. Hope Komodo saw your post and Solomon Hughes’ comment. The latter is a writer on the Morning Star. I had not heard of ALEC (what a silly acronym) and have been clicking on the links under About. http://www.alec.org/about-alec/
    They have got us by the proverbials. The private public partnership features prominently.

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