find the latest legal job
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Great Career Opportunity ·
View details
Insurance and Health Lawyer (1-4 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· New position to support Growth ·
View details
Politics before principles on Assange

Politics before principles on Assange

Leading legal groups have slammed the Australian government for failing to do more to stop Julian Assange being extradited to Sweden.The Australian lawyers Alliance (ALA) has accused the Federal…

Leading legal groups have slammed the Australian government for failing to do more to stop Julian Assange being extradited to Sweden.

The Australian lawyers Alliance (ALA) has accused the Federal Government of risking the lives of Australians by failing to assist citizens caught up in controversial arrest circumstances overseas.

"There is no doubt that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has made it easier for Swedish and United Kingdom authorities to arrest Julian Assange in what is a highly controversial case involving irregular, loosely worded rape laws and a trial behind closed doors," ALA director Greg Barns said.

Barns added that the decision of the London magistrates court to allow the extradition of Assange to Sweden, pending an expected appeal by Assange, has put the Wikileaks founder "one step closer to being tried in the United States for espionage charges that could carry the death penalty".

Barns said that the Gillard government had put political considerations - namely, its alliance with the US - ahead of the human rights of one of its citizens in the Assange case.

The fear that Julian Assange could eventually be extradited to the USA is one that is shared by the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights. Its president Stephen Keim said that while he was encouraged British authorities have said that United Kingdom consent would have to be granted if the United States sought Assange's extradition to Sweden, Australian authorities should have spoken up and expressed concerns about the process by which Assange could be extradited.

"Australia needs to make a strong statement that it has concerns about its citizens being subject to processes like the European arrest warrant which is patently unfair," Keim said.

"The European arrest warrant is the complete antithesis of fairness, justice and the rule of law."

Keim also shared the concerns of Barns that if Assange was charged and his case went to trial, the matter might be heard behind closed doors.

"From a common law environment, that is very curious," Keim said. "If I was to be tried anywhere in the world, I would like it to held in public."

Swedish authorities want to question Assange over three allegations of sexual assault and one of rape.

In Sweden, cases involving allegations of sexual offences can be heard behind closed doors if requested by authorities.

Barns has described the actions of Swedish authorities as being "extraordinary", with little regard for the rights of Assange.

He will be addressing members of the Senate and House of Representatives from all sides of the political spectrum about the Assange matter in Canberra tomorrow.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Politics before principles on Assange
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Please, Continue (Hamlet), Melbourne Festival
Oct 16 2017
Hamlet suffers slings and arrows of top Victorian barristers
Victorian judges and barristers have performed the unique play Please, Continue (Hamlet) at the Melb...
Julian Assange
Oct 13 2017
When justice fails, according to Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has dismissed the capacity of judicial systems to deal with complex...
Aussie anti-terrorism laws, detention of 10-year-olds
Oct 13 2017
Treatment of kids under Aussie anti-terrorism laws an over-reach: ABA
The Australian Bar Association has urged the government to reconsider proposed reforms to Australian...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...