Partner Brian Swan comments on the recent decision by UK courts to block the extradition of Julian Assange to the US on health grounds, in Law360.

Brian’s comments were published in Law360, 7 January 2021, and can be found here.

“The battle to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges over the publication of secret U.S. documents is far from over after a London judge blocked the extradition on health grounds Monday. But lawyers say prosecutors will struggle to overturn the decision on appeal.

In a mixed ruling, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said while prosecutors had cleared the legal threshold to extradite Assange, the 49-year-old Australian’s mental health problems meant there was a “substantial risk” he would kill himself if held under harsh U.S. prison conditions…

If the High Court upholds Judge Baraitser’s decision, the U.S. could try to pursue the case all the way to the U.K. Supreme Court, the U.K.’s highest appeals court. But Brian Swan, a partner at Stokoe Partnership, said this is unlikely.

“Given the limited factual basis on which the judge based her findings, I don’t see it reaching the Supreme Court,” Swan said. “For that to happen there would have to be a point of public importance to be decided.””

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