Diplomatic Asylum

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Mexico and Ecuador at the ICJ: A Plea for Taking the Latin American Experience Seriously

On 5 April 2024, Ecuadorian special operation agents broke into the Mexican Embassy in Quito, Ecuador. Security footage released by Mexico captures the moment the agents forcefully subdued Deputy Chief of Mission Roberto Canseco Martínez as he attempted to prevent their entry. During the raid, the agents apprehended Jorge David Glas Espinel, the former Vice-President of Ecuador (2013–2018), who had been residing within the Embassy. Previously convicted twice on corruption-related charges and released early from prison, Glas was facing new charges from Ecuadorian prosecutors. After seeking asylum at the Mexican Embassy in December 2023, his request had been granted by the time of his abduction. This incident quickly captured regional attention, raising considerable concern. Despite the persistent challenges of intra-state violence, Latin America has long been proclaimed a ‘zone of peace’ by its leaders, a claim supported by a notable track record of maintaining inter-state peace. Additionally, Latin American states boast a rich history of deeply engaging with international law. Thus, this textbook violation of…

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The Glas Case: Diplomatic Asylum Returns to the ICJ?

All opinions expressed in this blog post are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization. On 5 April 2024, in the middle of the night, law enforcement agents of the Republic of Ecuador broke into the Mexican Embassy in Quito and apprehended Jorge David Glas Espinel, former Vice President of…

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A Hypothetical on Deprivation of Liberty and Torture

In light of today’s rather extraordinary statement by Prof. Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, that Julian Assange has been subjected not only to arbitrary deprivation of liberty, but also to a sustained campaign of collective persecution, the results of which were…

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Foreign Office Certificates and Diplomatic Immunity in the Assange Affair

The Assange saga continues with recent decisions in the English Courts upholding the warrant for Julian Assange’s arrest. Dapo’s recent post on Ecuador’s purported appointment of Julian Assange as one of its diplomats to the UK considered the position on this issue as a matter of international law. However, a related issue…

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Ecuador Seeks to Confer Diplomatic Status on Julian Assange: Does this Oblige the UK to Allow Him to Leave the Embassy & Is the Matter Headed to the ICJ?

There is a recent twist in the Julian Assange saga leading to new claims that the UK has the legal obligation to allow Assange to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London without arresting him. In December, Ecuador granted Assange its nationality following which it then purported, this January, to appoint Julian Assange as one of its diplomats to…

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