What is the latest twist in Julian Assange’s Extradition case?

05 Apr 2024, 31 mins ago

Decision of 26 March 2024:

In 2021, the High Court determined that Assange could be extradited to the US, dismissing concerns over his mental health and the risk of self-harm in US custody. The Supreme Court refused permission to appeal and then-Home Secretary, Priti Patel, confirmed the extradition order. In June 2023, Assange sought to re-open the case and adduce fresh evidence, but the High court refused this application. However, on 26 March 2024, the High Court granted Assange what may be one of his last opportunities to defeat extradition. The High Court directed that Assange would have grounds to appeal on three of the nine grounds argued, unless the United States provided “satisfactory assurances.” The court has postponed its decision for a period of three weeks until 16 April 2024, to allow the US government sufficient time to adhere to the requirements to provide “satisfactory assurances”.

The court has directed the US to provide the following assurances:

  • the assurance on right to free speech under the First Amendment for non-US nationals;
  • that Assange would not be prejudiced at trial by reason of his Australian nationality; and
  • the assurance against the death penalty if convicted.

Failure of the US to provide these assurances could pave the way for Assange to appeal against the extradition order without a further hearing. However, if these assurances are provided, all parties will have a further opportunity to make submissions before a final decision is made on the application for permission to appeal.

Although this is currently an on-paper win for Assange, assurances from the US have historically been respected by the UK judiciary as reputable and will likely become another up-hill battle for Assange’s team to overcome. Further, the dismissal of Assange’s claims on political persecution strikes yet another heavy blow to the strongest argument his team is seeking to advance.

Six years into his proceedings, this latest judgment demonstrates that it remains highly unlikely that the UK Judiciary will treat Assange’s prosecution as political persecution (i.e. for the purpose of prosecuting on the account of his political opinions), particularly in a public forum.

In these types of cases, decisions of strategic importance are always made when deploying evidence in a given forum and carefully and selectively using the correct tools in the correct forum.

Assange will remain within the high-security confines of Belmarsh Prison, and this temporary suspension of his extradition proceedings does not constitute an immediate lifeline as he now faces further wait.


Gherson can advise you in relation to all possible defences to an extradition request. Gherson have unparalleled expertise in managing asylum and extradition requests in tandem. If you have any questions about a current or potential extradition case please do not hesitate to contact us, send us an e-mail, or alternatively, follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay up-to-date.

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