Legal woes just beginning for Julian Assange, says ANU law expert

A leading international law expert has laid out the likely legal future of Julian Assange following the sentencing of the Wikileaks founder to 50 weeks' jail for breaching bail in 2012 and who still faces at least one extradition request

Professor Donald Rothwell of The Australian National University (ANU) College of Law said while the 50 week sentence was significant, there was no prospect of future extradition requests – one from the United States and another potential one from Sweden – being resolved soon.

“The more serious US charges against Assange will be heard tomorrow in a London Magistrate's Court, including a request for extradition,” Professor Rothwell said.

“These relate to a criminal conspiracy arising from the alleged assistance Assange gave to Bradley Manning to obtain classified US documents.

“The US extradition request hearing will more than likely be the first of many to take place over coming years as Assange's legal team seek to contest the validity of the US extradition before UK courts.

“In addition, there remains the potential that the Swedish prosecutor may reopen their original 2010 investigation of sexual assault allegations against Assange, which would further add to the legal complexity of the Assange case.

For interviews, Professor Rothwell can be contacted directly, or through the media hotline on 02 6125 7979.


Professor Donald Rothwell
ANU College of Law
T: +61 (2) 6125 8948
M: +61 (0) 414 546 830

For media assistance, contact Aaron Walker from the ANU Media Team on 02 6125 7979, 0418 307 213 or at

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