Can We All Admit that Assange Has No Legal Case for “Safe Passage”?
I will refrain from adding too much to the increasingly ridiculous battle over Julian Assange’s refuge at the Ecuador Embassy in the UK. Assange is acting like a paranoid lunatic and it is astonishing to me that so many folks who should know better instinctively side with an accused rapist whose main argument is that the Swedish (Swedish!) justice system is being controlled by the CIA and US government.
However, I agree with the good folks at EJILTalk! that the UK would be unwise to “terminate” Ecuador’s diplomatic rights to its embassy in this case. I agree with Eric Posner that the UK would not act in clear violation of international law by stripping Ecuador of its diplomatic status, but I doubt Assange is worth such a drastic step.
Having said all that, can we also admit that Assange cannot credibly claim any “right” to safe passage, as his lawyers (including Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon) seem to be arguing here?
Baltasar Garzon, who is working on Assange’s defence, told Spanish newspaper El Pais that Britain was legally required to allow Assange to leave once he had diplomatic asylum.
“What the United Kingdom must do is apply the diplomatic obligations of the refugee convention and let him leave, giving him safe conduct,” he said. “Otherwise, he will go to the International Court of Justice.”