Assange v The Swedish Prosecution Authority: SC 30 May 2012

The defendant sought to resist his extradition under a European Arrest Warrant to Sweden to face charges of sexual assaults. He said that the prosecutor who sought the extradition was not a judicial authority within the Framework Decision.
Held: The appeal failed (Lord Mance dissenting). The term ‘judicial authority’ had a range of meanings. Under previous law a request might have been made, as here, by a prosecutor. Though the Framework decision had altered as it progressed through the legislative process, the original French phrase of the adopted document clearly included a prosecutorial authority. Pepper v Hart could not be used to allow the court to look to discussions prior to enactment to assist in interpretation of the Act.
Lord Mance said that the presumption that Parliament intends to give effect to international obligations is always subject to the will of Parliament as expressed in the language of the statute. In this case, the correct interpretation of ‘judicial authority’ in the Framework Decision, a question of EU law, was far from certain. If Parliament wanteded to restrict the power to issue EAWs to judges or courts, that would not have required a deliberate intention to legislate inconsistently with the Framework Decision. As the words in the statute were ambiguous, it was appropriate to have regard to ministerial statements, and those statements showed that repeated assurances were given that an issuing judicial authority would have to be a court, judge or magistrate.
Lord Phillips said that: ‘under the scheme of the Framework Decision the safeguard against the inappropriate issue of an EAW lies in the process antecedent to the issue of the EAW.’

Lord Phillips, President, Lord Walker, Lady Hale, Lord Brown, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Dyson
[2012] UKSC 22, UKSC 2011/0264, [2012] 2 AC 471, [2012] 3 WLR 1, [2012] 4 All ER 1249, [2013] 1 CMLR 4, [2012] 2 WLR 1275
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC Summary, SC
Extradition Act 2003, Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant and surrender procedures between Member States of the European Union 2002/584/JHA
England and Wales
At Magistrates CourtThe Judicial Authority in Sweden v Assange 24-Feb-2011
(City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court – Sitting at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court) The authority sought the extradition of the defendant to Sweden to face prosecution on allegations of sexual assaults. The defendant argued that the Act allowed . .
Appeal fromAssange v Swedish Prosecution Authority Admn 2-Nov-2011
The defendant argued that he should not be extradited under a European Arest warrant to Sweden to face allegations of serious sexual assaults. He argued that the prosecutor requesting the extradition was not a judicial authority, that some offences . .
CitedPepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart HL 26-Nov-1992
Reference to Parliamentary Papers behind Statute
The inspector sought to tax the benefits in kind received by teachers at a private school in having their children educated at the school for free. Having agreed this was a taxable emolument, it was argued as to whether the taxable benefit was the . .
CitedCriminal proceedings against Pupino ECJ 16-Jun-2005
ECJ (Grand Chamber) Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters – Articles 34 EU and 35 EU – Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA – Standing of victims in criminal proceedings – Protection of vulnerable . .
CitedDabas v High Court of Justice, Madrid HL 28-Feb-2007
The defendant sought to appeal his extradition to Spain to face terrorism charges. He complained that the certificate required under the 2003 Act could not be the European arrest warrant itself, that the offence did not satisfy the double . .
CitedSchiesser v Switzerland ECHR 4-Dec-1979
. .
CitedPiaggio (Germany) 14-Feb-2007
Court of Cassation Sez 6 (Italy). The appellant challenged the issue by the Hamburg Public Prosecutor’s Office of a European Arrest Warrant on the ground that it should have been issued and signed by a judge.
Held: The argument failed: ‘The . .
CitedLouca v A German Judicial Authority SC 19-Nov-2009
The defendant resisted extradition saying that the European Arrest Warrant was defective in not revealing the existence of two earlier such warrants. He said that absence of such information would hinder a court which was concerned as to possible . .
CitedMedvedyev And Others v France ECHR 29-Mar-2010
(Grand Chamber) A Cambodian vessel, The Winner, trafficked drugs on the high seas (Cape Verde). It was detected and boarded by the French authorities, detaining the crew on board and took them on the vessel to France for trial. France was, but . .
CitedDhar v National Office of The Public Prosecution Service The Netherlands Admn 28-Mar-2012
King J discussed the issuing of certificates in extradition requests: ‘True it is that the certificate must be certifying that the issuing authority has been designated by the law of the requesting state as the competent judicial authority for the . .

Cited by:
CitedZakrzewski v The Regional Court In Lodz, Poland SC 23-Jan-2013
The appellant was subject to an extradition request. He objected that the request involved an aggregation of sentences and that this did not meet the requirement sof the 2003 Act. He had been arrested under the arrest warrant, but during his trial . .
See AlsoDavid and Others, Re Sureties Assange Misc 3-Oct-2012
Sureties must fulfil duty to ensure surrender
(Westminster Magistrates Court) The parties had given surety for a Julian Assange who had been granted bail. On his failure to surrender to bail, the recognizances were declared forfeit. The parties now appealed. They had not attended the hearing at . .
CitedFrench v Public Prosecutor of The Central Department of Investigation and Prosecution In Lisbon Portugal PC 13-Jun-2013
(Gibraltar) Mr French appealed against refusal of his request to have set aside an order for his extradition under a European Arrest Warrant. He argued that (in general) the court had failed to deal with the matter within the mandatory time limits. . .
CitedBucnys v Ministry of Justice SC 20-Nov-2013
The Court considered requests made by European Arrest Warrants for the surrender under Part 1 of the Extradition Act 2003 of three persons wanted to serve sentences imposed upon their conviction in other member states of the European Union. The . .
CitedThe United States of America v Nolan SC 21-Oct-2015
Mrs Nolan had been employed at a US airbase. When it closed, and she was made redundant, she complained that the appellant had not consulted properly on the redundancies. The US denied that it had responsibility to consult, and now appealed.
CitedGoluchowski and SAS v District Court and Circuit Court In Poland SC 29-Jun-2016
The appellants challenged the effectiveness of European Arrest Warrants, saying that the requests were deficient in not providing adequate details of warrants issued in support of the decisions. They had been convicted and sentenced to terms of . .
See AlsoAssange, An Application By (Cancel An Arrest Warrant : Ruling No 1) Misc 6-Feb-2018
(Westminster Magistrates Court) Application on behalf of Julian Assange to have withdrawn an arrest warrant issued when Mr Assange did not surrender for extradition to Sweden. . .
See AlsoAssange, An Application By (Cancel An Arrest Warrant : Ruling No 2) Misc 11-Feb-2018
(Westminster Magistrates Court) . .
See AlsoUnited States of America v Assange Misc 4-Jan-2021
Westminster Magistrates Court – The defendant resisted a request for extradition to the USA.
Held: Extradition was refused on the sole basis that the defendant was already in a weak and susceptible mental health condition, and the indications . .
See AlsoUnited States of America v Assange Admn 11-Aug-2021
Appeal from refusal of extradition order on grounds of defendant’s mental health.
Held: Leave granted. . .
See AlsoUnited States of America v Assange Admn 10-Dec-2021
The USA sought A’s extradition. It had been previously refused on the grounds of expected suicide of A if subjected to US prison conditions.
Held: The order refusing extradition was quashed, and the matter referred to the Magistrates’ Court . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Extradition, European

Leading Case

Updated: 15 December 2021; Ref: scu.459832