On 2 December 2010 the Swedish Prosecution Authority (“theProsecutor”), who is the respondent to this appeal, issued a European ArrestWarrant (“EAW”) signed by Marianne Ny, a prosecutor, requesting the arrest andsurrender of Mr Assange, the appellant. Mr Assange was, at the time, in England,as he still is. The offences of which he is accused and in respect of which hissurrender is sought are alleged to have been committed in Stockholm against twowomen in August 2010. They include “sexual molestation” and, in one case, rape.At the extradition hearing before the Senior District Judge, and subsequently onappeal to the Divisional Court, he unsuccessfully challenged the validity of theEAW on a number of grounds. This appeal relates to only one of these. Section2(2) in Part 1 of the Extradition Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”) requires an EAW to beissued by a “judicial authority”. Mr Assange contends that the Prosecutor does notfall within the meaning of that phrase and that, accordingly, the EAW is invalid.This point of law is of general importance, for in the case of quite a number of Member States EAWs are issued by public prosecutors. Its resolution does not turnon the facts of Mr Assange’s case. I shall, accordingly, say no more about them atthis stage, although I shall revert briefly to them towards the end of this judgment.2.
Part 1 of the 2003 Act was passed to give effect to the Council of theEuropean Union Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant andsurrender procedures between Member States of the European Union2002/584/JHA (“the Framework Decision”). I annexe a copy of the Englishversion of the Framework Decision to this judgment. As can be seen, the phrase“judicial authority” is used in a number of places in the Framework Decision. Inparticular it is used in article 6, which provides:“1. The issuing judicial authority shall be the judicial authority of theissuing Member State which is competent to issue a European arrestwarrant by virtue of the law of that State.”3.
It is Mr Assange’s primary case, as presented by Miss Dinah Rose QC, that“judicial authority” bears the same meaning in the Framework Decision as it bearsin the 2003 Act, so that the Prosecutor does not fall within the definition of “issuing judicial authority” within article 6 of the Framework Decision.Alternatively Miss Rose submits that, if “judicial authority” in article 6 of theFramework Decision has a meaning wide enough to embrace the Prosecutor, it has