Why Eurosceptics Should Back Assange 204


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
impartial.

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.


204 thoughts on “Why Eurosceptics Should Back Assange

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  • Fedup

    Mary,
    This may be a helpful piece of jigsaw that has been kicked into the air, and bits have been landing around the place ever-since the 2000 election of one ex draft dodging cheer leader and user of exotic substances became to be the “commander in chief” as he repeatedly reminded everyone about it.
    ,
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Brooks_Brothers_riot,
    ,
    American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
    ,
    This set up along with the plethora of other secret and semi secret clubs are in place to fuck up the world as per the wishes of a bunch of old men whom could hardly control their bladder yet decide as to what to do to millions of human beings because their henchmen can take orders and carry these out orders, to the letter, regardless of how crazy, stupid and moronic these orders may turn out to be.
    ,
    ,
    Clark,
    You are a bit behind the curve, the Chinese hardware tampering has been the source of anxiety for spooks and security merchants ever since 1989. So far as the security futures go, given the leaky Microsoft products, and the weired and wonderful taps set in place on the communication hubs, no one can ever lose shorting on these.
    ,

  • Fedup

    A bit of over there (Afghanistan) over here (US of Z);
    New fire threat: People living in storage units
    Utah police found several people living in self-storage units who were using heaters and knocked passageways in the walls

    ,
    http://www.firerescue1.com/fire-prevention/articles/1279482-New-fire-threat-People-living-in-storage-units/
    ,
    So the cultural exchange of living in transport containers, caves and holes from Afghanistan to US in exchange for the years of heavy bombings with the most expensive ordinance ever devised by mankind really vindicates those wanky economics arguments of war is good for ye!

  • Mary

    Thanks Fedup.
    .
    Have just seen on BBC News a fleet of Waitrose lorries delivering the picnic hampers to Buckingham Palace for the lucky 10,000 attending the concert given by all the has- beens. As you have probably seen, Heston Blumenthal features in Waitrose adverts. He organized the food content of the hamper.

    .
    No product placement signs were shown for Waitrose or Heston Blumenthal. Oh sorry my mistake! BBC is not allowed to advertise. Not long ago, he was allowed to monopolize nearly an hour’s worth of airtime on the One Show virtually flogging his book and his wares. My complaint to the BBC was given a rebuff.

    .

    The picnic – http://www.itv.com/news/2012-06-04/buckingham-palace-picnic-hampers-by-heston-blumenthal-ahead-of-diamond-jubilee-concert/
    Must be nice to read for those on subsistence diets and food bank supplies.
    .
    The Jubilee hamper will include:
    Chilled British country garden soup
    Tea-smoked Scottish salmon
    Diamond Jubilee chicken
    Vegetarian option: mushroom parfait
    Fresh bread rolls
    Country Life butter
    Crunchy seasonal crudities
    Lemon and caraway Madeira cupcake
    Chocolate indulgence cupcake
    Sandringham strawberry crumble crunch
    Waitrose West Country farmhouse cheddar and red Leicester
    Duchy Originals from Waitrose oaten biscuits
    Duchy Originals from Waitrose harvest chutney
    12 Hand wipes
    Clear plastic cutlery and napkin
    Diamond Jubilee poncho
    Union flag
    ,

    PS Why can’t Maitlis and most of her colleagues pronounce diamond and royal? ie dimond and rorl.
    .

  • Clark

    Viktor Tullgren, here are some reasons that people think Assange’s extradition to Sweden is a step towards his extradition to the US:

    All of this merits particular emphasis now in light of yesterday’s ruling by Britain’s Supreme Court that Assange must be extradited to Sweden. For reasons I explained yesterday on Democracy Now,
    .
    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/5/30/divided_british_court_upholds_extradition_of
    .
    there is a very well-grounded fear that this extradition is intended to be the first step in his inevitable rendering to the U.S. for prosecution. Ample evidence, including my prior reporting,
    .
    http://www.salon.com/2011/01/08/twitter_2/
    .
    http://www.salon.com/2011/06/09/wikileaks_27/
    .
    proves the Obama DOJ has an active Grand Jury investigation of WikiLeaks. Some evidence, albeit not entirely reliable,
    .
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/wikileaks-stratfor-emails-a-secret-indictment-against-assange-20120228
    .
    has emerged stating that they have already obtained a sealed indictment. That there is now a flurry of recent activity at exactly the time when it was known the British Supreme Court would issue its extradition ruling — suspected WikiLeaks supporters being aggressively accosted by the FBI
    .
    http://www.wikileaks-forum.com/index.php?topic=11644.0
    .
    while Hillary Clinton is now meeting with top officials in Sweden —
    .
    http://wlcentral.org/node/2623
    .
    adds to the reasonable suspicion that the U.S. is seeking to exploit Assange’s extradition to Sweden as a means of bringing him to the U.S. to face prosecution under espionage charges. That this administration has an unprecedented fixation on secrecy and prosecuting whistleblowers — while key Democratic Senators such as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein have publicly called for Assange’s prosecution for espionage —
    .
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703989004575653280626335258.html
    .
    makes this all the more likely.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/05/31/a_reminder_about_wikileaks/singleton/

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq Association

    Guano,
    .
    Can we pause for thought here. Is it not the aim of the ‘war-lords’ to promote schism to conquer? Are we not over-whelmed by division in this world? Should we not promote unity based on recent historical evidence of Western bloodbaths and discrimination? I believe we can make a positive contribution by promoting accord. I say this in light of my experience as a young lad in South Africa. I experienced the separation on buses, toilets and even which side of the road to walk on. We were forbidden to talk to black people. I read all the ‘Not for South Africa Eyes’ signals, most SECRET even today that exposed the deception of shaking hands with the right while holding a gun in the left.
    .
    I understand the philosophy of Sayyid Qutb.
    .
    In 2003 Paul Berman wrote a classic piece of disinformation and deception entitled ‘The Philosopher of Terror’ which attempted to draw a picture of Sayyid Qutb’s over-whelming influence on the September 11 terrorist hijackers. It was a classic piece of charactor assassination and more, a deadly arrow of influence directed towards cerebral Americans, liberal hawks and the scholarly left, attempting to agglomerate together radically different elements in the Muslim world into one homogeneous enemy camp as justification for ‘liberal intervention’ – preemption – or smashing down the doors and butchering the occupants. Berman’s book was a best-seller, an evangelistic piece of brain-washing on ordinary folk, a successful attempt at mass ‘consentual’ for the ‘Shocking and Awesome’ annihilation in Iraq based on a lie.
    .
    It is a mistake or a distortion to equate al-Qaeda with Qutb’s contribution to contemporary Islamism.
    .
    Assad eating Russian caviar is of course similar to breaking the bread.

  • Fedup

    The report is based on a chronology of events as well as eyewitness accounts. Entire pro-government families in Houla were massacred. The terrorists were not pro-government shabbiha militia as conveyed, in chorus, by the mainstream media, they were in large part mercenaries and professional killers operating under the auspices of the self-proclaimed Free Syrian Army (FSA):
    ,
    The lies exposed and yet there seems to be no one taking any notice, strange times we live in.
    ,
    THE HOULA MASSACRE: Opposition Terrorists “Killed Families Loyal to the Government”
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31184

    ,
    ,
    ,

    The plot for turning the Med into a private lake, by excluding the Chinese and Russians from this area, along with the undermining of the Iranian allies in the area, are a prelude to an all out war that is to follow on China and Russia. The expansionist fascist polices of the US and toadies masquerading as the forwarded concepts of “plutonomoics”, are no less that the lebensraum principles, this time presented as security of the planet!

  • Mary

    Oh dear. All that standing around for hours on end in the cold and damp was not beneficial. Bit of a downer on tonight’s Gary Barlow benefit.
    .
    4 June 2012 Last updated at 17:08

    Prince Philip taken to hospital with bladder infection
    The Duke of Edinburgh has been taken to hospital with a bladder infection, Buckingham Palace says.
    .
    Prince Philip, who is 90, had treatment for a blocked coronary artery in December.
    .
    The news comes ahead of a Diamond Jubilee concert due to be held at the palace on Monday evening.
    .
    The event will be attended by 12,000 people and will end with the Queen due to light one of 4,500 beacons across the world marking her 60-year reign.
    .

  • nevermind

    Thanks Clark, you put the icing on the cake. Victor surely must understand that membership of the EU community and adherence to the ICC jurisdiction, is not exclusive to us, but it is acknowledged by many other countries round the world.

    Onesided extradition treaties with countries not a signatory to the ICC should ideally be banned, recinded and outed, they are wrong.

    It is questionable whether Sweden ever had a case for an extradition warrant, since the Wikileaks release, privy to 2 million other US citizens, and Bradley Manning who told us, alledgedly, plus Swedens pretence of impartiality, the posing of the public Prosecutor, rather than advancing the case, not to speak of the extraordinary traffic with the US, consultations, visits, etc., as Clark so aptly shows in his links, all developments surrounding the apparent affair, has clearly clouded impartial minds and independence.

    Julian Assange’s offer of being interviewd in London is the best possible option for the swedish prosecutor unless she does want to fuel the conspiracy theory’s even further.
    If Sweden genuinely wants to seperate an alledged crime from baying hawks, who’d want the man locked up forever, or worse, then now is the time to do it.

    It would also force the british Governments hands, seemingly relying on Sweden to do the job it otherwise will be asked to do, that doggy tail, slavenly relationship.

  • Clark

    Nevermind, I was astounded when a friend described Assange as a creepy slime-ball or something. This friend is supposedly progressive; a Guardian reader and signed up with Amnesty International.

  • John Goss

    This Australian radio programme, Legal Matters, has Christine Assange (mother of Julian) talking to Tim Shaw. It also has Australia’s foreign minister, Bob Carr, phoning in to defend his government’s position. Carr disgusts me.
    .
    http://media.mytalk.com.au/2ue/audio/040612legalmatters.mp3
    .
    It is quite evident that Carr is in cahoots with his US masters. He even says that the the US is not interested in Julian Assange. But my big worry is that no charge is made against the Wikileaks founder and he ends up in confinement without any allegations being laid against him.
    .
    There’s a bit of rubbish you have to listen to before it gets started. Not my fault!

  • Abe Rene

    I am glad that some justices at least dissented from the judgment. Hopefully the Eurosceptic influence will cause the legislation to be tightened up to better protec tboth the sovereignty of parliament and the rights of citizens.

    Having said that, Assange is accused of a sex crime in a civilised ocuntry (Sweden). Does anyone doubt that he would receive a fair trial there?

  • nevermind

    Did he meet him, this friend of yours? One can judge people on their past record, but their demeanour? their appearance whilst under constant media pressure?

    One can easily asceratin whether someone is lying and or is uncertain, but ‘ a creepy slimeball?’

    Think nothing off it. Some lefties are so closetted they are sitting, philosophically speaking, right next to Pinochet/ Adolf, a common problem with hardliners both left and right.

    Totally OT and just for you, Clark, please beware, message will self destruct in 30 seconds’
    Have a look at Surlingham.org
    for our June events guide. its under ‘special events’. Workshop bookings are coming in thick and fast.

    But then, you said he was ‘progressive’; a Guardian reader who pays his pennance to AI.

  • John Goss

    Abe Rene, if you listen to the radio link in my comment above you will hear that neither of the young women cited in this case has signed a statement against Assange and both have stated that sex was consensual, even though there is some evidence to indicate at least one of these women has had contact with the US secret services.

  • Clark

    Nevermind, no, my friend has never met Assange, and has presumably formed opinions from the corporate media.
    .
    Thanks for the Surlingham link. I’ll try to come along to that, but I could be busy on the 23rd.

  • John Goss

    It’s frightening, Mark Golding. But I always suspected foreign involvement since Syria is one of the countries on the US hit list. I think the 2003 list is complete when Syria and Iran fall into western hands. The US taints every country it operates in, and all its allies doing the dirty work for the US. And all this for oil and strategic influence!

  • guano

    Mark
    The knowledge of Islam is vast and yet everywhere we see Muslims modelling their institutions on the opposite of Islam. The trick outside Islam is to convince the people that Allah delegated a tiny portion of His knowledge and power to another lesser being, and hence the lesser being can delegate as well until we have human beings in charge, controlling the people to their own advantage.
    .
    The Qur’an expressly forbids the formation of sects, hizbs and the reason is that a Muslim has a living relationship with God, His Word, His Heart. Humans are creatures of spirit as well as flesh. When the spirit leaves, the flesh dies. The idea of the sect is to encapsulate an agreement in order to lessen the problem of disagreement. I agree with my wife I will always walk the dog after breakfast on Tuesdays. If I break my agreement what should I do. It’s such a stupid idea to pin human beings down to a fixed contract within a fixed group. I need a flexible relationship with my wife to reflect the reality of my life, but with fixed parameters about morality, and family structure.
    .
    The political Muslims freeze life into cryo-dumbness. The submission of my will to the definitions of a sect is in direct contradiction to the submission of my will to Allah. My conscience, which you call conscious, is responsible for answering when it is raised up on the day of judgement for what I did in this life. No sheikh or guru is going to be allowed to answer for me because I followed their instructions to make division and conquer for Islam. The victory of Islam is the victory of conscience, from any human being who does it for the sake of God’s teaching and from the purity of their own heart.
    .
    It is not sufficient to believe in the Oneness of Allah and follow the ways that differ from His prophet SAW. The Jews believe in the Oneness of Allah, but follow their own desires.
    How can the Muslim Brotherhood or my local mosque work politically with the CIA or war-criminal M.P.s pretending to promote the interests of Islam when they simultaneously have to bow to the pressure of their patrons.
    No compromise.No politics. No sects. The sects close their ears to any evidence which is better than the framework which suits their own purposes. The destruction of Islamic power was achieved not by Western ruthless power but by betrayal from mullahs who desired their own advancement and power.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq Association

    Wikileaks has revealed how both Kim Beazley and Rudd have privately reassured the U.S. that Australia will support them in the event of a war with China.
    .
    I hate speculation But I do know from my own contacts British naval war planners are discussing Asian Pacific scenarios that involve strategies needed to block oil supplies to China. A valid hypothesis might well suggest an attempt to break the Iran/Russia/China alliance by a strike on Iran. I am convinced of this, I hope I am wrong. The worlds powers are certainly becoming acutely menacing and walking an unhealthy path to nuclear confrontation.
    .
    http://indymedia.org.au/2012/06/04/war-being-prepared-against-china-behind-the-backs-of-the-australian-people

  • Mary

    War Drums for Syria?
    http://paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1980:war-drums-for-syria&catid=62:texas-straight-talk&Itemid=69
    .
    The Medialens editors, David Cromwell and David Edwards, say this:
    .
    ‘Ron Paul’s honesty on Syria is in a different league from even our best liberal media. Compared to this piece, Guardian and Independent editorials read like Downing Street press releases. That ought to be deeply shocking.
    .
    Remember, the Guardian was the supreme cheerleader for Blair, just as it is now for Obama.’

  • John Goss

    If Ron Paul had made president he would have been assassinated byt his own people, just like they did with the Kennedys.

  • BlackMan

    Guano,
    …It is not sufficient to believe in the Oneness of Allah and follow the ways that differ from His prophet SAW…
    -Didn’t the Prophet advise muslims against keeping dogs as pets?

    …The Jews believe in the Oneness of Allah…
    -No, they don’t, otherwise they would become muslims.

    …How can the Muslim Brotherhood or my local mosque work politically with the CIA or war-criminal M.P.s pretending to promote the interests of Islam when they simultaneously have to bow to the pressure of their patrons…

    -if they did bow to the pressure you wouldn’t see the military council still in power in Egypt, and one of former Mubarek’s communists running for presidency now.

    -Islam is a whole doctrine, you can not take the politics from Islam, or the jurisprudence from it and leave it to be just a system of worship. Islam is a system of life for muslims, from birth to death. It regulates social, economic, legal, political, military, family and many other aspects of life in one system where everyone (with certain knowledge gained in family surroundings and schools). That’s why enemies of Islam don’t like it, because it offers a complete system of conscious obey to the rules not ordained by humans.
    I completely agree with you in terms of that different sects and hizbs have been detrimental to Islam. Again, appearance of those sects once again proves prophecy of Muhammad SAW who informed muslims of such sects and warned against diverting from his sunnah.

    My father used to tell me stories about brutality of Chengiskhan. Once he told me that before invading a certain area in muslim lands, Chengiskhan would send his spies to check if there were many mosques. If his spy comes back with information that there is only one mosque for big areas Chengis wouldn’t dare to attack this place because of unity of people living in those areas, if more than one mosques were there he would easily invade them. At the time of Chengiskhan spread of sufism and naqshbandiya was so swift that people actually became idol worshippers.

    Meant no offence in above, ahi.

  • crab

    Mccartney sang a strangely dark and fitting tune for her maj at the royal do:
    `When you were young and your heart was an open book you used to say live and let live -you know you did- but if this ever changing world in which we live in, makes you give in and cry, say live and Let DIE! What does it matter to you if youve got a job to do you got to do it well you got to give the other fella Hell…`
    .
    Also, Rolf’s rendition of three little boys was painfully interrupted and cut short to the next act. For timekeeping or unwanted sentiments of the tragic war song?
    .
    Too easy to be paranoid maybe.

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