No argument heard on Vienna Convention
Within an hour of rejecting Julian Assange’s appeal this morning over a decision to extradite him to Sweden to face rape allegations, the Supreme Court issued a further statement saying it may have to reopen the case.
After the ruling was handed down, the Wikileaks founder’s counsel, Dinah Rose QC, complained that the majority of justices had based their decision on the Vienna Convention, which had not been discussed during the hearing.
The Supreme Court immediately issued a statement, saying that Rose had indicated she might apply to reopen the court’s decision.
“Ms Rose suggested that the majority of the court appear to have based their decision on the interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, on which no argument was heard and no opportunity of making submission was given,” the statement said.
“The Supreme Court has granted Ms Rose 14 days to make such an application. If she decides to do so, the justices will then decide whether to reopen the appeal and accept further submissions (either verbally through a further hearing, or on paper) on the matter.”
The statement added that the required period for extradition under section 36(3)(b) of the Extradition Act 2003 would not begin until 13 June, the 14th day after the judgment was handed down.
Delivering judgment in Assange v the Swedish Prosecution Authority  UKSC 22, Lord Phillips, Walker, Brown, Kerr and Dyson rejected Assange’s appeal. Lady Hale and Lord Mance dissented.