France voices confidence in UK justice over Julian Assange
United Kingdom – Situation of Mr Julian Assange – Reply by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to a written question in the National Assembly
Paris, 9 February 2021
Mr Julian Assange is an Australian national on trial in the United Kingdom. On 4 January the British judicial system ruled against the extradition request issued by the United States, which has appealed against the decision. Pending the appeal verdict, the British courts decided on 6 January to keep Julian Assange in detention. France has confidence in the justice system of the UK as a country where the rule of law applies.
Regarding any application for political asylum that might be submitted to the French authorities, the latter took the view in 2015 that such an application should not proceed, due to factors related to the interested party’s legal and de facto situation. France is among the first 10 European Union countries to have adopted legislation protecting whistleblowers. It was a driving force within the European institutions to bring to completion the negotiations on the directive on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law, adopted on 7 October 2019. In this framework, France has championed a balanced approach enabling us to maintain a unique instrument with a broad scope that is capable of protecting whistleblowers as far as possible against the risk of reprisals, while guaranteeing legal arrangements proportionate to the various levels of seriousness. In addition to internal reporting, the directive adopted provides for the possibility of external reporting, directly or following unsuccessful internal reporting, as well as protection in the event of disclosure to the public, subject to certain conditions./.