Assange Assurances: An Australian Response

The Australian government has been relatively quiet on the U.S. assurances on Julian Assange. CN Live! speaks to an Australian senator, lawyer and former diplomat for their views.

Some members of the Australian legal, political and diplomatic community are troubled by a U.S. assurance that signals Julian Assange would be “potentially very greatly prejudiced” in a U.S. court, as British judges anticipated, given that foreign nationals who acted abroad do not have constitutional rights.

Stating that Assange is able to “seek to rely” on such rights as the First Amendment, the assurance makes no mention of what is “long-settled” law, according to Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the Supreme Court USAID v. Open Society case of 2020. This and other precedents establish that he could be denied these rights.

Joining CN Live! to discuss this issue from an Australian perspective are Greg Barns, an Australian lawyer; Federal Senator David Shoebridge; and retired diplomat Alison Broinowski. They were interviewed by Cathy Vogan. 


8 comments for “Assange Assurances: An Australian Response

  1. Geraldine Cowan
    April 25, 2024 at 16:04

    Has anybody here checked on how lifes are treated in America? Please check re Mumia Abu Jamal, 40 years in virtual solitude, when he was very ill in hospital his family was not allowed in to visit. Mumia learned the law and has written on the subject. Was his treatment brought up in front of UK judges.?
    Australia should be tougher with the US. Kick out all their military bases unless Julian is sent home.
    When the wife of an American soldier made a mistake when driving and killed a young man in the UK. We wanted her to be tried in a UK court but USA claimed she was a diplomat and refused her to come here so why can’t UK and Australia refuse to send Julian to America!

  2. WillD
    April 24, 2024 at 22:17

    The Australian government is far too subservient to the US than most Australians realise. It has been ‘allowed’ its brief and mild protest but has now probably been told to keep quiet.

    Prime Minister ‘Milquetoast’ Albanese, previously one of the weakest and most insignificant of backbench MPs, is not strong enough or courageous enough to stand up to the US and demand Assange’s release or repatriation.

  3. CaseyG
    April 24, 2024 at 19:44

    Why America are you torturing Julian Assange? What do you gain from this, Joe Biden? YOU seem to be getting away with murdering Palestinians—and now you want to murder Assange? I do not honesty see in you, any promise of equality or humanity for America. Two vampires, Biden and Netanyahu, seem to delight in blood and war. May you both cease to exist as your treatment of people and the Earth is a travesty.

  4. mkovan
    April 24, 2024 at 18:47

    Perplexity only arises from an assumption that the Aust govt is not obeying its own best interests, in Julian’s case among others. And so you have a decade and more of misplaced head-scratching as to why it isn’t, and hasn’t done anything for his case. Isn’t it time to shift the terms of discussion and acknowledge that it has always been pursuing its true interests, that it actively seeks deeper military and other alliance with the US, that Assange has always been a thorn in the side of that project, and that the Aust political mainstream seeks his immuring as much as the US and UK do. They have no serious interest in challenging the will of the Imperium because they all seek the same outcome (despite some dissimulating hand-wringing). Then at least we might drop the incredulity and start talking about the real conditions of the case. None of ‘our’ govts seek to see JA as a free man – or he would be such long ago.

    • Jack
      April 25, 2024 at 02:24

      More likely, the Australian Prime Minister has been advised by his “Team” of Advisors to stay out of the case altogether while the Extradition Appeals are still being heard at the UK High Court. In Addition, I don’t think the PM wants to risk damaging relations with the U.S. over one man, Julian Assange.

      • Lois Gagnon
        April 25, 2024 at 11:52

        Why not? It’s an abusive relationship. They should demand the release of Julian as a sovereign country seeking the return of its illegally jailed citizen. Otherwise, Australia is just another occupied colony of the US.

      • mkovan
        April 25, 2024 at 20:11

        Look at the facts. A citizen of a democratic country has been held without charge, in oppressive conditions, without being proven guilty, for five years in a maximum security prison. You have to go back to the 1930s before that abuse of power was presumed ‘likely’ in Western democratic governments.

  5. Cal Lash
    April 24, 2024 at 15:19


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