Philip Hammond’s Astonishing Lie 26


The official statement by the UK Foreign Secretary, Phillip Hammond:

“I reject the decision of this working group. It is a group made up of lay people and not lawyers. Julian Assange is a fugitive from justice. He is hiding from justice in the Ecuadorian embassy.”

These are the cvs of the group (including the ex-chair who started the work). Hammond’s statement that they are lay people and not lawyers is a blatant, a massive, an enormous, a completely astonishing lie. Yet nowhere has the media called him on this lie.

Sètondji Adjovi (Benin, Second Vice-Chair) Adjovi, an academic and practitioner specialising in international criminal procedure and judicial reform, worked at the International Criminal Court and at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda before his appointment to the UN WGAD.

Mads Andenas (Norway, Chair and member until mid-2015) Chair of UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention until mid-2015. Has previously held positions as Director of the Centre of European Law at King’s College, University of London and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London. Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Oslo.

Mr. José Guevara (Mexico, First Vice-Chair) Guevara is a legal academic and practitioner who focuses on Human Rights Protection and International Criminal Law. Prior to joining the WGAD, worked in the NGO sector, Mexico City’s Ombudsman’s office and in government in the area of human rights. Guevara is the recipient of the Open Society Foundation’s New Executives Fund leading the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights.

Seong-Phil Hong (Chair-Rapporteur, Republic of Korea) An expert member of the Asian Council of Jurists of the Asia Pacific Forum and legal academic, Seong-Phil Hong has specialised in the case for reparations regarding Japan’s Enforced Sex Slavery during the Second World War and accountability for human rights violations by the North Korean regime.

Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine) A legal academic and practitioner whose expertise lies in international criminal justice and procedure. Tochilovsky was part of the Preparatory Committee and Commission that drafted the guidelines on criminal procedure for the International Criminal Court.

Leigh Toomey (Australia) An expert in the UN Human Rights system, Toomey has taught at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and has served as a UN human rights expert both in the capacity as an NGO representative and as a representative for Australia at the UN General Assembly and Commission for Human Rights.

It is worth noting that the UN decision accords very closely with the minority verdicts of the two dissenting UK Supreme Court judges in the deeply split UK Supreme Court decision on the case. So by calling the UN panel “ridiculous”, Hammond is saying the same of two UK Supreme Court justices.

You will not recall much media coverage of the dissenting verdicts in the UK Supreme Court decision. There was almost none. By contrast, the media are showing an obsessive interest in the dissenting Ukrainian member’s opinion in this UN decision.

Norwegian Professor Mats Andenas, the chair of the Working Group who started the work, has today stated that the UK and US put enormous political pressure on the members of the UN working group, which they had resisted courageously. Can anybody think of a reason why the dissenting Ukrainian member might have been less able to resist enormous pressure from the UK and US governments?


26 thoughts on “Philip Hammond’s Astonishing Lie

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Of course, Assange is being held illegally, but he on’t survive long out of prison, or in some grave if he makes a break or is somehow granted release.

    His life is effectively over.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Can anybody think of a reason why the dissenting Ukrainian member might have been less able to resist enormous pressure from the UK and US governments”

    _____________________

    Very good rebuttal Craig, of Hammond and the state orientated media.

    The Ukrainian’s position I would imagine has to do with the pretty precarious position his country is in at the moment, with regards to Russia.

    Id imagine Vladimir Tochilovsky would be more than willing to voice opinion against the findings, influenced by Westminster and Washington.

  • Clark

    The corporate media has had a cosy relationship with government for the entire history of its existence. Ministers give “exclusive interviews” or anonymous “off record briefings”, and the corporate media get their “scoops” and “front page exclusives”

    Along came Wikileaks, disrupting this incestuous relationship. Each major published leak contained more stunning revelations than a typical corporate media organ could obtain in years.

    We shouldn’t expect the corporate media to offer any support to Julian Assange. They wish to maintain their monopoly and would happily see Assange made an example of.

  • M de F

    The US has blundered into the same human-rights birdlime that discredited and destroyed the USSR. The cumulative effect of review by treaty bodies, charter bodies and international procedures has been to consolidate the US/UK position as an international laughingstock, a prognathous knuckle-dragging atavism prone to shit on the carpet without intensive acculturation. The British government’s interaction with the WGAD reinforces the trend. The SCO and the G-77 have a foolproof plan: facilitate erosion of US standing and promote multipolar legal comity as US destructive capacity declines with corruption and ossification.

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabigots

    We have many fugitives from justice walking the street every day. I think it’s called selective prosecution.

  • John Goss

    “Can anybody think of a reason why the dissenting Ukrainian member might have been less able to resist enormous pressure from the UK and US governments?”

    I’d love to get on this particular hobby-horse of mine. 😀

    Oh, OK, why not. I’ll try. This morning I read this which is not a very good translation and because of its source the concerns raised by Novorossiya might have just seemed like paranoia without confirmation.

    http://mid-dnr.su/en/news/kommentarij-mid-dnr-otnositelno-otkrytiya-predstavitelstva-nato-v-ukraine-0688

    So I searched and found this on a Ukrainian NATO website. Quite clearly, even though Poroshenko has signed up to Minsk 2, there is no intention to give Eastern Ukraine any degree of local autonomy.

    http://nato.mfa.gov.ua/en/press-center/news/44516-verkhovna-rada-ukrajini-uhvalila-zakon-pro-ratifikaciju-ugodi-mizh-uryadom-ukrajini-ta-organizacijeju-pivnichnoatlantichnogo-dogovoru-pro-status-predstavnictva-nato-v-ukrajini

    I also took a look at Porky’s own website. While most people in Ukraine are suffering abject poverty, east and west, Porky and his wife are living it up, with a website based on the US Presidency model. His wife appears to be a ‘caring’ individual concerned for the families who moved to avoid her husband’s civil war. She also talks about occupied areas which I can only think means those in which western advisors are in situ. Nice people these olgarchs.

    http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/marina-poroshenko-razom-iz-druzhinoyu-federalnogo-prezidenta-36626

    I think the west is doing its best to prop up the illegal government it brought to power, with more weapons systems for the military, and more austerity for the people. Does it answer the question? What can you expect from a corrupt regime? The sacrifice of a top lawyer’s reputation is a small price to pay.

  • John Goss

    “But NATO is never going to offer a security guarantee to a country under imminent risk of attack—or in Ukraine’s case, under actual attack.”

    The above is from Ben’s article. Thanks for that. What used to be is no longer true. Until the Ukrainian civil-war the IMF had never made loans to a country engaged in a civil-war. Things change. But right now I’m inclined to agree. This is more the current scenario while Porky’s pretending to be a world leader.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Friends.of.Russia.OFFICIAL/permalink/1117499584957505/

  • writeon

    As you know and understand, Craig, this kind of brazen and blatant lying can only happen in a society which allows and encourages it. A society which is basically totalitarian in nature, though it still has some of the glittering baubles of liberal democracy twirling, which gives the impression of a vibrant and solid democracy. The lurch of the liberal Guardian to the neo-conservative right has been sad to watch. It’s almost like a coup has happened, a silent one and nobody’s noticed.

  • writeon

    Of course the Guardian felt threatened by the new Wikileaks model for investigative journalism. They were almost forced into publishing the files. The Guardian is both partriotic and understands the rules of the game. They aren’t going to challenge the UK or US state on foreign policy, no matter how destructive or illegal those policies might be.

    They’ve invested a lot of time and effort in attacking Assange and undermining the Wikileaks brand at the same time as they attempt to consolidate their own brand profile. To expect or imagine that they are going to change at this late stage is… fanciful. They would look as foolish and incompetent as the Swedes and way too much prestige is on the line now, too many lucrative reputations for them to go back now.

  • MerkinScot

    However, the Jannerites will always support the slow genocide apologists who think that the ISIS supporting country is clean.
    Craig is to be recommended for reminding us that the MSM is a bit dodgy.

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabigots

    “They’ve invested a lot of time and effort in attacking Assange and undermining the Wikileaks brand at the same time as they attempt to consolidate their own brand profile.”

    Just as with the Snowden harddrives which Guardian sledge-hammered with gusto as NSA/MI6 looked on approvingly. They have chosen their side.

  • K Crosby

    @writeon British society is democratic and always has been, it’s the state that’s fascist (and always has been). There has never been a democratically-elected British government.

  • Justme

    To make this really clear, a large collection of the legal community would help. While this story is different, a similar strategy of 3000 doctors broke through media spin(Doctors break ranks amid ramped up calls for Government to release children from detention http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-03/doctors-ramp-up-calls-for-release-of-children-in-detention/6996166). While I don’t like Assange, I am concerned that this could have a domino effect on human rights altogether where rogue states can mimic Sweden & UK response more frequently until this type of treatment becomes the norm and the bar becomes lowered everywhere. Western countries might feel they can do this more often and the rule of law becomes a thing of the past.

  • lysias

    Well, I am a graduate of the Yale Law School, a former editor of the Yale Journal of International Law, and a practicing lawyer in the U.S. who regards this claim by the UK government as utterly ridiculous.

  • Nick G

    Sorry to be pedantic but are the group members qualified lawyers as well as legal experts?

  • Mochyn69

    @Nick G
    6 Feb, 2016 – 8:08 am

    You could google the group memebers yourself, but this is from Mads Andenas’s LinkedIn page

    Mads Andenas is a Professor of Law at the University of Oslo. He holds the degrees of Cand jur (Oslo), Ph D Cambridge) and MA and DPhil (Oxford).

    He has held a number of senior academic appointments in the United Kingdom, including as Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London and Director of the Centre of European Law at King’s College, University of London.

    He remains a Fellow of the Institute of European and Comparative Law, University of Oxford and at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Studies,
    University of London.

    He has been Visiting Professor at University of Paris I (Sorbonne) in 2006 and University of Rome La Sapienza in 2004-8, in 2002–3 he held the Chaire W J Ganshof van der
    Meersch under the Fondation Philippe Wiener—Maurice Anspach at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and in 2005 he was a Fellow of Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in
    the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS). In 2006 he delivered the Annual Guido Carli Lecture at the University of LUISS Guido Carli, Rome. In 2008 he delivers a series of
    lectures at l’École normale supérieure, Paris om human rights and comparative law.

    He is Editor of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly (Oxford University Press) and of European Business Law Review (Kluwer Law International) and on the editorial boards of some ten other law journals and book series.

    He is a Bencher of the Inner Temple, London, an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Legal Studies (UK), a Fellow of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law, and an Honorary Member of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London.

    He was the Secretary General of the Fédération internationale de droit européen 2000-2002, the Hon Secretary of the UK Association of European Law 1997-2008 and the UK Committee of Comparative Law 1999-2005. He was the Chair, Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) 2008-2009

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/madsandena

    There,happy now?

    Craig is right and Hammond and the UK’s FCO are liars, or at least being economic with the actualite again!

  • Mochyn69

    http://www.brickcourt.co.uk/people/profile/mads-andenas

    Mads Andenas
    Year of Call: 1986

    Clerk: Kate Trott [email protected]
    expertiseEU/Competition
    overview
    Professor Mads Andenas is a senior and distinguished academic. He was the Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (1999-2005) and of the Centre of European Law, King’s College, London (1991-1999). He holds Chair of Law at the University of Oslo. He remains a Visiting Research Fellow of the Institute of European and Comparative Law, University of Oxford and the Director of the Centre for Corporate and Financial Law at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London. He is a member of the Executive Council of the International Law Association.

    From 2008 he has been one of the United Nations Human Rights Mandate Holders, and is the Chair-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Arbitary Detention, which hears individual complaints on arbitary detention from all over the world, and reports to the UN GeneralAssembly and the UN Human Rights Council. He was the rapporteurfor the United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on the right to bring proceedings before court of anyone deprived of his or her liberty, which the Working Group adopted in 2015 as requested by the UN Human Rights Council.

    Professor Andenas’ scholarship on the relationship between national law and European and international law; comparative constitutional and human rights law and constitutional aspects of the EU and the WTO; procedure in international and national courts and administrative bodies, market regulation (competition, financial market supervision) and company law.

    He is called to the English Bar (England and Wales, Middle Temple) and is also admitted as an Advokat in Norway. He is a Bencher of Inner Temple. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Legal Studies and a Fellow of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law. He was the Hon Secretary of the UK Association of European Law (1997-2007). He was the Secretary General of the Fédération internationale de droit européen 2000-2002 and the Hon Secretary of the UK Committee of Comparative Law 1999-2005.

    practice areas
    eu/competition
    Areas of Practice
    European Law
    Comparative Law
    Human Rights Law
    International Law
    Banking and Financial Services Law
    Competition Law
    Consultant to the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, London; the Council of Europe and the Asian Development Bank, Manila.
    qualifications & further information
    Cand. Jur. (University of Oslo)

    M.A. (Oxford)

    Ph.D. (Cambridge)

    D.Phil (Oxford)

    Further Information
    He has been a visiting professor at University of Rome La Sapienza from 2002. He was a Visiting Professor at University of Paris I (Sorbonne) in 2006 and at l’École normale supérieure, Paris in 2008. He has held the Chaire W J Ganshof van der Meersch under the Fondation Philippe Wiener—Maurice Anspach at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2002-3, the Chaire Vincent Wright at Sciences-Po, Paris, in 2011-12, and he has been a Herbert Smith Visitor at the University of Cambridge. In 2005 he was a Fellow of Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS).. In 2005 he held the Paul Hastings Visiting Professorship at the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong, and he is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the HKU Asian Institute of International Financial Law. In 2006 he delivered the Annual Guido Carli Lecture at the University of LUISS Guido Carli, Rome. He has been a part time professor at the European University Institute, Florence where he currently participates in a research project on European regulatory private law.
    In 2008, he was appointed by the Institut de France as a member of the committee for the Institut’s Prix international Aristotle Onassis pour le Droit. In 2011 he received for his human rights work the Don Pino Puglisi Prize in memory of the priest killed by the mafia in Palermo in 1993 and recently declared a martyr and beatified.
    Former member of the Advisory Board on Corporate Governance of Transparency International, Berlin
    Former member of different working parties under the Financial Law Panel
    Former member of the Committee of the English Branch of the European
    Society for Banking and Financial Law
    Former member of the Law Society’s Company Law Committee
    Member of the Securities Law Committee of the International Law Association
    publications
    Published more than 40 books including:

    The Foundations and Future of Financial Regulation Governance for Responsibility, with Iris Chiu, Routledge 2014.

    Theory and Practice of Harmonisation. Edward Elgar Publishing 2012.

    Tom Bingham and the Transformation of the Law – A Liber Amicorum. Oxford University Press. 2009.

    European comparative company law. With Frank Wooldridge, Cambridge University Press. (2009).

    The World Trade Organization and Trade in Services. Kern Alexander, Brill Nijhoff (2008)

    Independence, Accountability, and the Judiciary. With Guy Canivet and Duncan Fairgrieve, British Institute of International and Comparative Law. 2006.

    Andenæs, Mads & Caranta, R (2005). Independent Administrative Authorities. British Institute of International and Comparative Law. ISBN 0-903067-49-8.

    Enforcement Agencies Practice in Europe. With Burkhard Hess and Paul Oberhammer, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2006.

    WTO Law and Process. With Federico Ortino, British Institute of International & Comparative Law, 2005.

    Court Review in International Perspective. Liber Amicorum for Gordon Slynn, Kluwer Law International 2000

    Delegated Legislation and the Role of Committees in the EC, Kluwer Law International 2000

    Editor of several legal journals and book series.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Mochyn69
    06/02/2016 12:53pm 12:58pm

    Very impressive, but do you know what I would say if I were Hammond? I’d say that Andenas is not a member of the Working Group that issued Opinion 54/2015.

    A much stronger position would be to cite the practical qualifications and experience of those who are currently members of the Working Group. Which I am sure are equally impressive.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • Reb

    “It is worth noting that the UN decision accords very closely with the minority verdicts of the two dissenting UK Supreme Court judges in the deeply split UK Supreme Court decision on the case.”

    The fact that two judges had dissented is interesting. The UK prides itself on the independence of its judiciary. This is, of course, complete nonsense. It might have been true at one point in the last century, but certainly not today. But I accept that there are some judges in this country with a moral conscience, who weigh up other variables that career advancement or the prospect of knighthood.

  • Nick G

    @Mochyn69 – not sure what your tone is all about, I was asking a genuine question for clarification. Honestly what is it with people on comment threads!

  • Tris Stock

    Hammond may well complain that the UN WGAD is “a group made up of lay people and not lawyers” (even though this is demonstrably incorrect), but then he would have to concede that he, too, is a lay person with no legal education.

Comments are closed.