Kevin Hopkins examines the consequences of Julian Assange’s possible extradition to the United States

Kevin Hopkins presented a seminar titled “The implications of the Julian Assange Case on extradition law, freedom of expression and investigative journalism” at the Rivonia Group of Advocates on 1 February 2024.

Julian Assange’s final appeal against his extradition from the United Kingdom to the United States will be heard on 20 and 21 February 2024. If extradited, Assange could face 18 criminal charges, and may be sentenced for up to 175 years, if convicted.

Hopkins examined the possible effect of the appeal on the development of extradition law, freedom of expression and investigative journalism, and how South Africa, as a country that has constitutionalised freedom of expression, might be affected.

In an article published in the Daily Maverick on 5 February 2024, Hopkins interrogates whether the exposure of corruption and criminality, and the exposition of war crimes by Assange, should be treated any differently from the same kind of exposure in the mainstream media. He argues that, if Assange is convicted in the United States, it may have a chilling effect on the freedom of expression and on investigative journalism.

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