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The Forum > Article Comments > The case of Julian Assange: do constitutional principles matter? > Comments

The case of Julian Assange: do constitutional principles matter? : Comments

By Max Atkinson, published 24/4/2012

Law must govern political practice, not vice versa otherwise illegality will be legitimised through commission.

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Yes constitutional principles do matter. And the constitution in the spotlight is Sweden's? If the warrant in question is legal according to the Swedish constitution; then Britain as a member of the EU is duty bound to recognise a legal warrant issued by a fellow member. The warrant merely asks for extradition, so that Assange can answer to Swedish courts for crimes allegedly committed in Sweden?
If Assange is simply concerned about extradition to America to answer for complicity in other crimes; then it is arguably easier for the American authorities to extradite him directly from Britain.
We have a saying, do the crime then do the time. Assange may believe that certain laws do not apply to him and seemed every ready to shine an inquisitorial light on all others?
However, when the same light shone on him and exposed things he would have preferred to keep out of the public domain, he was clearly outraged. I'm sorry I don't buy his particular argument or the fact that he objects to not being able to further traumatise the alleged victims?
If he has no case to answer as he strenuously claims; then why is he alleging all sorts of conspiracy concerns simply to avoid his day in a Swedish court? Surely a truly innocent man would have been only to willing to have his day in court? Instead of resorting to the full sum of legalistic technical delays? Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 9:10:53 AM
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Rhrosty appears to be confused on many points.

The lead article was phrased in impenetrable language, so it is not surprising that Rhrosty failed to grasp its meaning.
1. British courts are established under British law, not Swedish.
2. The author explained that the critical issue is not whether the Swedish arrest warrants complied with Swedish law, but whether the person who signed the warrant was qualified to do so. Having established that the body which issued the warrant is not judicial, he explains why he is surprised that the High Court, having argued that this is a requirement of a valid warrant, subsequently issued a decision which was contrary to its own reasoning. This isn't Swedish law - it is British, although based in part on the Framework Decision.
3. "...it would not be a valid EAW under the Framework Decision."
4. Thus, the arrest warrant was invalid.

All other conjecture and prejudice provided by Rhrosty are irrelevant - Assange has not been found guilty of anything yet, so statements such as:
"Assange may believe that certain laws do not apply to him..." and
"...he objects to not being able to further traumatise the alleged victims"
serve only to display overwhelming prejudice on the part of Rhosty against Assange who, it must be remembered, is entitled to the presumption of innocence.
Posted by JohnBennetts, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 12:22:39 PM
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It's a shame I think that the article doesn't link to the judgement itself.

I should like to see a follow up article, which more closely examines the extradition processes across the EU, with perhaps accompanying analysis on what exactly is the common framework, if indeed there is one?

If I do not misunderstand, essentially the courts ruling has determined that the uk will now potentially accept extradition requests regardless of the fact that they may come from an EU authority which is not necessarily a court.

This I presume will have far reaching consequences.

Additionally, I am wondering, was that the final recourse to appeal in the jurisdiction in question or is there say a point of law or other appeals process available?
Posted by DreamOn, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 4:43:05 PM
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Law has little to do with justice and the survival of our species.Law is about a few elites stealing as much as they can without being held accountable.
Posted by Arjay, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 6:55:02 PM
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John Bennetts: I agree with your observations. I would just add that Mr Assange has not been charged with a crime, much less convicted. The available information casts serious doubts on the veracity of the two alleged complainants in this matter. There are certainly questions also about whether the attempt to extradite Mr Assange is a political or a legal one. Even what is alleged against him would probably not amount to a crime in either Australia or the UK.

DreamOn: I believe that Mr Assange still has recourse to the European Court of Human Rights in the event that the Supreme Court turns down his appeal.
Posted by James O'Neill, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 7:03:57 PM
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Assange jammed the Yanks. Now they're jamming him. End of story.
Posted by halduell, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 1:47:19 AM
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