I suppose that it is no shock to anyone that the rule of law died long ago in many of the modern western police states, including the United Kingdom. Now with Julian Assange granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy, the UK is blatantly flaunting the fact that it is a lawless country of thugs where the rule of law is rotting in a shallow grave as the UK threatens to break 2 international treaties.
But to find out that the rule of law was murdered so long ago? Yes. The rule of law has been dead since at least 1987 when the UK passed the “Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987”. But before that, let’s look at the relevant treaty and the relevant section.
The “Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961” is the treaty applicable to diplomatic missions, and specifies the terms for the “premises” of a diplomatic mission, i.e. the embassy. (You can find the original here [PDF].) Article 22 reads:
1. The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
This is perfectly clear. There is no ambiguity. However, “inviolable” is a strong word that the UK government apparently may not understand. Perhaps English is a second language for them, in which case they may be excused.
The “Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987” can be found here. Part 1, section 1 (Aquisition and loss by land of diplomatic or consular status.), subsection 3 reads:
In no case is land to be regarded as a State’s diplomatic or consular premises for the purposes of any enactment or rule of law unless it has been so accepted or the Secretary of State has given that State consent under this section in relation to it; and if—
(a) a State ceases to use land for the purposes of its mission or exclusively for the purposes of a consular post; or
(b) the Secretary of State withdraws his acceptance or consent in relation to land,
it thereupon ceases to be diplomatic or consular premises for the purposes of all enactments and rules of law.
Essentially, that means that any diplomatic mission (embassy) in the UK has no diplomatic status if they “don’t feel like it” or “change their mind”. That is not any kind of law. You cannot simply make a law that you get to decide when and/or if it is enacted. This is a fundamental violation of the rule of law.
Further, the “Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961” is a treaty to which the UK is a party. They will be breaking this treaty if they revoke the status of the Ecuadorian embassy, because diplomatic missions are “inviolable”.
Article 56 of the “Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969)” reads:
Denunciation of or withdrawal from a treaty containing no provision regarding termination, denunciation or withdrawal
1. A treaty which contains no provision regarding its termination and which does not provide for denunciation or withdrawal is not subject to denunciation or withdrawal unless:
(a) it is established that the parties intended to admit the possibility of denunciation or withdrawal; or
(b) a right of denunciation or withdrawal may be implied by the nature of the treaty.
2. A party shall give not less than twelve months’ notice of its intention to denounce or withdraw from a treaty under paragraph 1.
Has the UK given all 111 party countries and 15 signatories notice? If not, then they’re breaking the treaty.
But if the UK breaks the “Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961”, then it necessarily breaks the “Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969)”. I think that’s called “getting two birds stoned at once“.
Ecuador is perfectly within their rights to grant asylum to Julian Assange. The UK is not within its rights to violate a sovereign nation. Not that it stopped it in Afghanistan or Iraq or Argentina or… Well, you get the picture.
This pattern of “escape clauses” closely resembles the way in which you can hear small children in an elementary school playground making up rules that guarantee that they win their game, and that nobody else can possibly do anything to them. It’s a common pattern, and can also be found in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 29, section 3:
These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Again, this is the same pattern where they explicitly state that if they do not wish to honour their obligations, they won’t.
Should it be any surprise that the United Kingdom is any less criminal than the United Nations?
Time will tell if they prove their criminality in this specific case with the fate of Julian Assange on the line.