Lawyers stir up animal pic Twitter storm against UN’s polarising Assange ruling

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Controversial Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been thrown a lifeline after a UN panel ruled today that he had been “arbitrarily detained” — and lawyers can’t help but poke fun at the ruling.

44 year-old Assange has been camped out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London’s Knightsbridge for three years now, in fear that if he leaves he will be arrested and sent to Sweden to face rape charges.

Sweden’s extradition laws mean that Assange risks being deported to the USA, where he could well face a hefty prison sentence for his involvement in the contentious Wikileaks project.

Today the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) gave its much-awaited opinion on the matter. They held — pretty shockingly — that Assange is being arbitrarily detained by the Swedish and UK governments, and called for him to be paid compensation, even though he has imprisoned himself in the embassy.

Lawyers just aren’t very happy about the opinion, and where better to go to vent your frustration than Twitter?

When we spoke to lawyer and legal commentator David Allen Green about the frenzy, he told us:

Legal Twitter is at its best when quickly analysing a just published legal instrument or emerging news story. And, if there is shoddy law involved, as with this UN panel opinion, legal Twitter can be brutal.

With the Twitterati tearing the ruling to shreds, Vladimir Tochilovsky — sole dissenter on the UN panel — has come up trumps in this social media storm.

When Legal Cheek got in touch with Pump Court Chambers’ Matthew Scott, who has been tweeting about the ruling, he said:

I think the dissenting judgment says everything that needs to be said, in about 1/8th of the words, and without any Latin.

Before adding:

3 cheers for the Ukrainian guy.

While Tochilovsky is lapping up the Twitter love, the UN opinion is being met with increasing hostility — and has fallen foul to the, now trending, hashtag #arbitrarilydetained.

And lawyers are, of course, throwing in their two cents as well.

You can always count on lawyers to get in on the action.


Not Amused

The UN is in a bad way.



You can read the opinion for yourself here.

One of the funniest parts is paragraph 97, where it gives six reasons why there has been “a substantial failure to exercise due diligence on the part of the concerned States with regard to the performance of the criminal administration.”

Because I have nothing better to do, here are those reasons – and my thoughts on them:

‘(1) in the case of Mr. Assange, after more than five years’ of time lapse, he is still left even before the stage of preliminary investigation with no predictability as to whether and when a formal process of any judicial dealing would commence’

And whose fault is the five years’ time lapse? Oh wait – Julian Assange’s! Firstly for challenging proceedings in our domestic courts up to the Supreme Court and then running into a foreign embassy and refusing to come out!

‘(2)…the exercise and implementation of the investigation method should be conducted in compliance with the rule of proportionality, including undertaking to explore alternative ways of administering justice’

I wasn’t aware that seeking to question a rape suspect in your own country by your own police was ‘disproportionate’.

‘(3)…Mr. Assange, while staying under constant and highly intrusive surveillance, has continued to express his willingness to participate in the criminal investigation’

Good. He can come out of the embassy and participate then, can’t he!

‘(4) as a consequence, his situation now has become both excessive and unnecessary. From a time perspective, it is worse than if he had appeared in Sweden for questioning and possible legal proceeding when first summoned to do so’

Right, so criminal suspects are legally permitted evade justice by making it so difficult and time-consuming to do so, that the entire process becomes ‘unecessary’? I’m not sure you’ve thought this through…

‘(5)…the grant [of asylum] itself and the fear of persecution on the part of Mr. Assange based on the possibility of extradition, should have been given fuller consideration in the determination and the exercise of criminal administration’

Assange is free to argue these points in court. He has already done so in the English courts. Including the Supreme Court.

‘(6) it defeats the purpose and efficiency of justice and the interest of the concerned victims to put this matter of investigation to a state of indefinite procrastination’

And who is responsible for this ‘indefinite procrastination’? You’ll never guess. Julian Assange!





Scep Tick

With every six gallons.



Proudman has started using twitter again.

I was completely right in my post of a few weeks ago, where I called her “quitting twitter” as an attention seeking scam, and that she’d be back on twitter within weeks.

Shame on Legal Cheek for falling for her charade.


The Econo-pist

The snowman picture is enough to induce night terrors in small children.

Drynites shares will go through the roof if that pic goes viral!


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