You are to consider Opinion No. 54/2015 Concerning Julian Assange (Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), issued by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The Opinion is provided separately on Moodle, and includes the submissions by the parties. If you want to find out more about the work of the Working Group, you can do this here: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/WGADIndex.aspx. We covered treaty-based individual complaints mechanisms in lectures and tutorials in W2. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention can also consider individual complaints (submitted by individuals alleging human rights breaches by states/public authority in relation to arbitrary detention), and it is the only non-treaty-based mechanism which can do this (relying on a number of international human rights instruments, not just one). More here: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/ Complaints.aspx.
The case concerns Julian Assange, an Australian national and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. Many of the facts of the case are detailed in the Opinion, though background information concerning Mr Assange’s presence in the Ecuadorian embassy in London is also otherwise widely available. That said, your task is not simply to consider the facts of the case.
Rather, your task is threefold:
1. Clearly, the case concerns the right to be free from arbitrary detention. You are to outline how this right is protected and framed under international human rights law. You may focus exclusively on treaties and any findings in relation to arbitrary detention arising from treaty bodies. (suggested word count: 600 words)
2. Once you have outlined how the right to be free from arbitrary detention is legally protected and framed under international human rights law (treaties, treaty bodies), summarise the rationale as to this right applied by the Working Group in the case of Mr Assange. (suggested word count: 500 words)
3. Finally, conclude by stating whether you agree with the Working Group’s findings/conclusion. Justify your stance. (suggested word count: 400 words)
Rely on additional sources, both primary and secondary, as necessary to support your statements and conclusions.
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