The Fight to Free Assange


It’s been 12 years since Julian Assange has been free – but is the fight to keep him from a life in an American prison finally coming to an end?

United States President Joe Biden told reporters he’s considering Australia’s request to drop charges against Assange for publishing thousands of sensitive military and government documents, but the fight to free the Australian whistleblower isn’t over.

Join Jennifer Robinson, international human rights lawyer and legal advisor to Julian Assange, Emma Shortis, Senior Researcher in International & Security Affairs, and host Ebony Bennett to discuss the road ahead for the WikiLeaks founder in this Australia Institute webinar.


Jennifer Robinson – Barrister-At-Law at Doughty Street Chambers

Jen Robinson is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London specialising in international law, media law and human rights.

Jen has acted in key human rights and climate cases in domestic, regional and international courts. She has represented, journalists and media organisations, and women speaking out about abuse, on publication and media law issues arising from MeToo and violence against women.

She advises high-profile clients including Julian Assange and Amber Heard. Jen also built a global human rights program to support public interest and movement lawyering which invested an estimated $60m in training young lawyers and supporting strategic litigation.

Her recent book, How Many More Women? Exposing how the law silences women, explores the legal backlash to the MeToo movement.

Emma Shortis – Senior Researcher, International & Security Affairs at the Australia Institute

Emma is historian and writer, focused on the history and politics of the United States and its role in the world. She uses her expertise in history to interpret and explain what is happening in the world today, and what it means for Australia, in a compassionate and accessible way. In a conversation often dominated by the same voices, Emma offers a fresh perspective on international relations grounded in moral questions about how we might imagine a post-American future.

Emma’s first book, Our Exceptional Friend: Australia’s Fatal Alliance with the United States, was published by Hardie Grant in 2021. She writes regularly for Australian and international outlets, and appears regularly on Australian radio and television.

Before joining the Australia Institute, Emma was a Lecturer at RMIT University, where her academic work focused on international relations and climate transition. Before that, she spent a year in the United States as Fox-Zucker International Fellow at Yale University, where she finished her PhD in History.

Ebony Bennett – Deputy Director at the Australia Institute

Ebony Bennett is deputy director of the Australia Institute and host of its popular webinar series and Follow the Money podcast.

Beginning her career as a journalist in the Canberra press gallery for the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review, Ebony has worked in federal politics in a variety of roles for almost 20 years and has published research on climate change and energy, gender and street harassment and contributed a chapter to Morrison’s Miracle: The 2019 Australian Federal Election (ANU Press 2020) and The Nordic Edge: Policy Possibilities for Australia (MUP 2021).

Ebony is a regular commentator and contributor across broadcast and print media, she appears regularly as a commentator on ABC and Sky News and has a fortnightly column in The Canberra Times.


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