Payne Hicks Beach
Payne Hicks Beach

13 January 2021

Assange victory leaves whistleblowers, journalists hanging - Matt Ingham for Law 360

Commentary by Matt Ingham, Partner in the Citizenship & Immigration department at Payne Hicks Beach, on a UK court's recent refusal to endorse claims that the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, amounts to an attack on freedom of speech, first published online in Law 360 on 8 January 2021 and reproduced with kind permission.

Last week, Matt Ingham provided Law 360 with legal insight into the recent Assange extradition decision. In his article, Richard Crump presents Matt’s view that the judgment highlights the need for a “public interest defence” to Official Secrets Act offences. This proposal has been rejected several times by the Law Commission, most recently in 2017. Matt explains how the first instance court assessed the current legislations as complying with Article 10 ECHR in light of the 2002 Court of Appeal decision R v Shayler. However, Crump concludes the article by quoting Matt’s reassurance that the extradition court’s ruling does not create any extension of the law in the criminal context. After Assange was denied bail on 6 January 2021, pending the US’s Appeal of the decision, journalists and lawyers alike await the Court of Appeal’s ruling, which may take a more critical approach to the Official Secrets Act and Shayler. 

For further information please contact Matt Ingham by email or on 020 7465 4300.

The full article can be found at

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