This question was motivated by Julian Assange's famous case, but it is a more general question.

As it is known, he currently has a conviction of 50 weeks prison term for bail jumping. Thus, England wants him to serve it in a prison (jail?).

From the other side, another country - this time, the USA - wants him, without a conviction (in the USA), but because also they want to punish him.

Thus, we have a conflict of interest:

  1. The English criminal system wants him to serve his punishment. They are probably tuned to not allow him to go to anywhere, until he served his prison term.
  2. Also the criminal system of another country wants him. The U.K. is bound by international agreements to give him to them.

The logical solution would be to first make him to serve his punishment in the U.K., and then extradict him to the USA. It seems a likely outcome in JA's case, but not always.

For example, in the case of a famous terrorist or war criminal, it would be surreal to delay his criminal procedure, only because he committed also some traffic offense in the U.K.

Which interest will be stronger? How is it being decided?

  • Please note: this is the law.stackexchange.com, extra-legal options/possibilities are here per definitionem off-topic. I tried to formulate the question to the objective, legal part and please follow this also in the answers/comments.
    – Gray Sheep
    May 1, 2019 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


Yes, they just wait until he has served his time in most cases.

The United Kingdom and the United States can agree that he can serve the time in the United States though.

  • Ok, but how is it being decided, what will happen? The UK judge can only determine, is he guilty or not, and what will be his punishment. Somehow a mechanism should exist, what arbitrates the contradicting interests, how does it work?
    – Gray Sheep
    May 1, 2019 at 20:14
  • Its not really contradicting, tbh. They would literally call the U.S. on the phone when hes done there or just say him awaiting trial in the U.S. counts as his punishment.
    – Putvi
    May 1, 2019 at 20:16
  • Yes, obviously these are the options, but who decides it and how is it being decided? What is the case in the other example case (serious offender committed also a light offense in the UK, serving the punishment for the light case that would delay the criminal procedure in the serious case)
    – Gray Sheep
    May 1, 2019 at 20:17
  • Either the judge will say it is ok if he serves his punishment in the U.S. then he gets picked up or when he is done there the jail would literally call the U.S.
    – Putvi
    May 1, 2019 at 20:18
  • Not to sound rude, but there's just not anything more. Instead of the jail releasing him they give him to the U.S. whenever his release would be. I don't know exactly when he gets released.
    – Putvi
    May 1, 2019 at 20:21

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