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  • A United Nations body determined that Sweden and the United Kingdom violated international norms by arbitrarily detaining Julian Assange.
  • For Ecuador to grant diplomatic asylum to an individual in its London embassy is controversial under international law but not unprecedented, particularly for humanitarian reasons.
  • Australia has several options available to it, including providing consular assistance.

An Australian, Julian Assange, has been found to have been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK). On 4 December 2015, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (‘UN WGAD’) adopted Opinion No 54/2015 which also concluded that Mr Assange was entitled to freedom of movement and compensation. This note describes the background, considers Opinion No 54/2015 and identifies options for Australia.

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