Peter Jorro comments on Assange asylym claim at Ecuadorian embassy

Monday 25 June 2012

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Events took a dramatic turn last week for Julian Assange, who is wanted for questioning over criminal charges in Sweden. In a surprise development Mr Assange sought asylum at Ecuador's London embassy. This raises a number of complex questions over diplomatic immunity and asylum, which Peter Jorro addressed speaking to the BBC.

In his BBC News interview, Peter said that it is not unheard of for people to seek diplomatic asylum in embassies, although he added that it is more common when the person is seeking asylum in and from the country which they are a national of.

Peter made clear that the international conventions governing diplomatic relations provide for the inviolability of diplomatic missions, meaning that a person seeking asylum is safe while in the embassy premises. But while the Ecuadorians could theoretically make Mr Assange an ad-hoc diplomatic courier, thus granting him immunity while travelling carrying diplomatic papers, this would be highly unusual.

Peter Jorro is member of the Garden Court Asylum and Human Rights Immigration Team, and is an author of Asylum Law and Practice.

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