Archive for August, 2012

The Blawgers…

The Brethren are saving the unenlightened….what would we do without ’em?

Orf to find an exorcist… back later with some nonsense… have a good one…
A useful collation and comment on the Assange posts from Adam Wagner: The Assange Reality Distortion Field

And a podcast I did with Carl Gardner last Friday:Lawcast 219: Carl Gardner on the Assange asylum issues

In the meantime… as I am sure you are as Asshagged out as I am by Assange and the Assanganistas…. I rather liked this HT @bretttechlawyer

The strong (and passionate) arms of the law

Telegraph: As a leading QC leaves his partner for a much younger colleague, what is the truth about love and lust in chambers?

I did enjoy Alex Aldridge’s quote in the article…

“The law is full of eccentrics,” says Alex Aldridge, editor the irreverent, must-read tabloid law website Legal Cheek. “Lawyers were usually the geeks at school who weren’t very happy or lucky with girls, so when they find themselves in a high status job, earning lots of money and getting lots of attention late in life, they do crazy things and behave like lunatics.”



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Romeo Correo and Julian  (2012)
Director: Julian Assange

A story of friendship between a South American president with an impeccable human rights record and a man of principle who wouldn’t even consider being discourteous to women…let alone…

The two men were destined never to meet in person – thwarted by PC Capulet and Secretary of State Montague.

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Lawcast 219:  Carl Gardner on the Assange asylum issues

Today I am talking to Carl Gardner, ex government lawyer and author of The Head of Legal blog, about the Assange Asylum issue. Before we look at the practical  legality of the United Kingdom government’s threats to Ecuador warning them about The Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 – I want to put a few myths to bed by stating the legal position rather than some of the more bizarre and irrational concepts / constructs  used by commentators and commenters  in the press and on twitter

 1. The European Arrest warrant
What is it? – was it correctly applied? – is it valid?
European Arrest Warrant

2.  The United Kingdom Supreme Court judgment authorising Assange’s  extradition to Sweden

Carl Gardner: Lord Kerr on the Assange case

Carl Gardner: Supreme Court judgment: Assange v Swedish Judicial Authority

Carl Gardner: Could Assange apply to set aside the Supreme Court judgment?

Carl Gardner:  The Julian Assange ruling in full

Carl Gardner:  Extradition proceedings against Julian Assange

Carl Gardner: Where does Julian Assange go from here

Carl Gardner: Julian Assange can get out of this?

Without Prejudice
podcast on the UK Supreme Court judgment

Charon:  Podcast with Mark Stephens, Assange’s lawyer in 2010
Still relevant for context and history of Assange applications.

3.  Swedish rape would not be rape in England.
The High Court ruled that “It is clear that the allegation is that he had sexual intercourse with her when she was not in a position to consent and he could not have had any reasonable belief that she did.”


4.  Sweden is a lickspittle legal system.
No – It is a sovereign state, bound by the European Convention and International law

5. But Assange hasn’t been charged. 
In Sweden arrest is the first stage in the process followed by questioning.  Charges are usually laid shortly before the trial.

6. Can Sweden extradite Assange to USA?
Not without UK permission (Home Secretary)  S 58 Extradition Act / Article 28 Framework Decision
Neither Sweden or UK will extradite to USA where an individual will face the death penalty.  This is covered by The European Convention on Human Rights in the protocols

Has Assange actually broken any US laws:  US lawyers consulted think not.

7. The legality of UK Govt Threat to invoke The Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987
The Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987

Carl Gardner: Julian Assange: can the UK withdraw diplomatic status from the Ecuadorian embassy?
8. Is Britain bound to give safe passage? 
No – ‘diplomatic asylum’ is not recognised by Britain – although some countries do recognise it.  The concept is not recognised by International law – a matter of state derogation according to ICJ

 9. Can Assange take UK to International Court of Justice? 
No.  He is not a state.  Individuals are excluded from suit.  Ecuador can and has indicated preparedness to do so

10. Will Ecuador win? 
Yes (possibly)  if arrest inside embassy or 1987 Act invoked.  No – if Assange arrested on British soil.

Useful materials:

The Independent – Owen Jones: There should be no immunity for Julian Assange from these allegations.
Ecuador is wrong to describe the accusations against the WikiLeaks founder as ‘laughable’

The Blog That Peter Wrote:  Assange Cultism

The Blog That Peter Wrote: Assange

Charles Crawford:  Assange, Asylum and Immunity

Embassies have replaced churches as the setting for confrontations between rival legal orders and concepts of fairness. Assange is in a different world, writes a former UK ambassador

Assange case: a quick reference of legal issues for journalists (with sources)

Extradition of Assange to the US via Sweden for espionage
Dr Mark Klamberg, LL.D. Lecturer public international law, Stockholm University.


Listen to the podcast (46 Mins)


I’d like to thank Lawtel, WestlawCassons For Counsel, City University Law SchoolDavid Phillips & Partners Solicitors, Inksters SolicitorsIken, LBC Wise Counsel, Carrs Solicitors,  JMW Solicitors – Manchester, Pannone, BPP Law School, Brecher Solicitors and Cellmark for sponsoring the  the free student materials on Insite Law – appreciated.

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The Olympics, enjoyed by many, are now cast to the ethereal memory to reveal the malignant presence of dystopian reality.

The prime minister has left  Downing Street to go on a holiday (not annual leave: Politicians need holidays too, says David Cameron), leaving UK PLC in the capable hands of Theresa May and our foreign secretary, hitherto, arguably, the most sensible member of the axis of incompetence governing our country.  Mr Hague  decided yesterday to force the Assange issue by digging up a law from 1987 few knew about, let alone recalled, to suggest that Ecuador may be stripped of their diplomatic status and the rozzers could ‘storm’ the Embassy.

Ecuador has duly participated in Mr Hague’s cunning plan to shift moralo-global responsibility for the mess to Ecuador – Ecuador granted Assange asylum –  and there is much speculation on how Assange is to get into a diplomatic car without setting foot on British soil and avoid the attention of the Police who wait with their handcuffs to haul him off for breach of his bail conditions.  The BBC has the story.  Solicitor David Allen Green (aka Jack of Kent blogger and legal correspondent of the New Statesman)  valiantly tried to stem the march of the trolls and tin foil hat wearers by tweeting about the complexities of the law – to no avail – and my mate Carl Gardner appeared on BBC Radio 4 to inform Mr Naughtie and listeners, including me, about the law this morning.  Carl Gardner has written a sensible analysis of the problem faced by the UK Government: Julian Assange: can the UK withdraw diplomatic status from the Ecuadorian embassy?

I don’t think I added to the jurisprudence on this issue with my sardonic tweet of late last night:  “Breaking: Ecuador Embassy buy teleporter from makers of Star Trek to transport Assange to Ecuador.”

David Allen Green has considered the twitter issue with: On being hated by tweeters.

And… a late ‘analysis from @Loveandgarbage – a must follow (at your own risk) on twitter – @loveandgarbageDuchy of Grand Fenwick turns down Asylum Application from Ecuadorian Ambassador

Apropos of Mr Assange escaping to Ecuador – a country not noted for free speech – without being arrested by police when he steps onto British soil to make a dash for the diplomatic car – I had the pleasure of teaching Mr Umaru Dikko years ago.

Wikipedia notes: “On July 5, 1984, he played the central role in the Dikko Affair; he was found drugged in a crate labeled Diplomatic Baggage at Stansted Airport, an apparent victim of a government (Israeli) sanctioned, but aborted kidnapping.[2] The crate’s destination was Lagos.”

Dikko came to see me in my office to talk about doing a law degree. I believe in the principle ‘innocent until proved guilty’.  As he had not been convicted of any criminal offence at the time,  I was quite happy for him to enrol on the University of London  LLB programme. I did warn him that should he be convicted at a future time – of corruption or any other criminal offence – this would impact on his suitability for call to the Bar. During one of my contract lectures, I happened to talk about a case involving a consignment of goods to Nigeria.  Several Nigerians at the back of the lecture hall – burst out laughing and  started shouting “Dikko, Dikko, Dikko”.  To his credit, and to my amusement, Mr Dikko, immaculately dressed in expensive suiting, stood up, turned to face the Nigerian students and did a bow.  Class!

The ‘silly season’ is upon us; traditionally a time for the surreal and daft to appear in our newspapers in the absence of more serious news. So, in that spirit… and I head this section with an image of the Olympics which I particularly liked…althought there were so many marvellous photographs.

Random wanderings about London
The long vacation for lawyers begins at the end of July.  I decided to take a short break away from law,  which I enjoyed.  I spent a few amusing days getting on buses without having a clue where the bus ended up.  I like a bit of ‘random’ in my life these days.  London is, truly, a marvellous place to wander around,  even for a law blogger who has lived in London for 30+ years. I won’t trouble you with the boring details of where I ended up – but I can reveal that I purchased a very bright green Casio wrist watch (£20) and a very loud pair of electric blue suede desert desert style boots on my travels.  I shouldn’t be allowed out on my own sometimes. It is perhaps a good thing that  I  don’t escape that often?  I did my bit for Britain during the Olympic fortnight, on my mystery travels, by talking to tourists about our great City – Big Society in action? The tourists were most grateful for the information I imparted…possibly. I wasn’t even tempted to say that Nelson’s Column was, in fact, in Chancery Lane and that the guy in Trafalgar Square was an imposter statue. No…sireee…

The English language is endlessly fascinating to me.  I don’t share the facility possessed by linguists  with languages (Although I speak acceptably bad French.  OK – really bad French – c’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas le français  and ‘tourist italian’). . My real brother – not Professor RD Charon – speaks quite a few languages including Hindi.  In fact, he teaches young British Asians to speak and write Hindi)

A number of unusual words have amused me in recent months – a selection:

philosophunculist: One who pretends to know more than they do to impress others

tibialoconcupiscent: Having a lascivious interest in watching a woman put on stockings (I don’t, in fact, have this hobby – but one never knows when a new hobby will come along.  I was much taken with the idea of becoming a sword swallower last night after seeing an item about sword swallowing on BBC London News.  The thought has, thankfully, passed.)

And the other day I was fascinated by the idea of having a concilliabuleA secret meeting of people who are hatching a plot

But my favourite for this week – given twitter’s proclivity for stampeding madly about, wilfully, mendaciously and with a full on ‘mens rea’ –  at times  –  ignorant of law, facts or sanity  was: exsibilation – The collective hisses of a disapproving audience

And, finally… on the subject of words… Hat tip to good friend,  Professor Gary Slapper (Always worth following on twitter @garyslapper)

I tweeted – Word du Jour: Afflatus (n) inspiration; an impelling mental force acting from within

Many complain about the modern habit of turning nouns into words.  ‘Medalling’ was popular during the Olympics.  And…before I get accused of explaterating – To talk continuosly without stop…

Best, as always

PS… I am coming to the conclusion that academic lawyers may know more law than the practitioners.  Whether this is useful – I hope to consider this phenomenon and wind up some of my practitioner friends  when I get back to serious blogging.  In the meantime, you might enjoy this speech from Lord Neuberger MR – who is soon to be President of The United Kingdom Supreme Court: JUDGES AND PROFESSORS – SHIPS PASSING IN THE NIGHT

Wonderful stuff with much talk about citing academic lawyers – but only if they are dead!

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Pizza for Mr Assange…

And here is something rather more sensible than Mr Hague compromising the security of our own diplomatic staff abroad from Carl Gardner at his Head of Legal blog:Julian Assange:  Can the UK withdraw diplomatic status from the Ecuadorian Embassy


BBC: Julian Assange: Ecuador grants Wikileaks founder asylum



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Had most enjoyable week orf wandering randomly about London on buses without looking at bus destination.   Managed to fit in a bit of Olympics as well.  Enjoyable. Returning to blogging on the morrow…

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Back soon..

Back soon… been  ite and abite wandering about London randomly like a tourist… bought a bright green watch and electric blue suede desert boots.  I fear that I should not be allowed out on my own.

Also.. enjoying the Lynkiks.. despite fact that I  don’t tend to watch much in the way of  sports on t’telly.

Could not resist pic of Prince Charles – unfortunately, found it on twitter and have now lost the original tweet I got the link from.. so cannot credit photographer (apologies – but great pic)

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