Julian Assange obtains certificate to go to Supreme Court


Edward Fitzgerald QC, Mark Summers QC and Florence Iveson, instructed by Gareth Peirce of Birnberg Peirce, represented Mr Assange in his appeal and in seeking a certificate of a ‘point of law of general public importance’.

Today, the High Court granted the certificate based on a point of law centred on the circumstances in which an appellate court may receive assurances from a requesting state concerning the future treatment of a requested person if extradited. They noted that, in respect of this point of law, while the law in this jurisdiction has long been settled it does not appeal that the Supreme Court has considered the question. This point is of general public importance as assurances are at the heart of many extradition proceedings.

The High Court have not allowed leave to appeal however, leaving it up to the Supreme Court to decide whether to grant leave on this point. However, the granting of a certificate is an important first step towards obtaining a full appeal in the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court were to reverse the High Court and restore the decision of the District Judge discharging Mr Assange, then he would go free.