Assange and Manning

Who Is Vanessa Baraitser?

Everyone reading this is probably already familiar with the fact that Vanessa Baraitser is the judge in Julian Assange’s extradition case and that she happens to be a particularly sadistic individual. On the 7th April she made a ruling stating that the names of Assange’s partner and children can be published in the media, forcing his fiancee to go public. Not her first decision that can be reasonably considered unfair:

Image by Somerset Bean on Twitter.

Which brings us to the question: who is Vanessa Baraitser? Several people have said, that if you search for Vanessa Baraitser’s name you don’t get anything. That it has disappeared. And that there are a dearth of photographs – only one claiming to show her face, apparently. Weird. Especially for a judge in an extremely high profile case that will essentially determine the future of press freedom. Doubly weird. So who is she?

[This post is subject to further updates]

Baraitser is a District Judge in Magistrates’ Court. She is present on the list of these on the judiciary website. Interesting to note date of appointment is in 2011.

Someone on Twitter directed me to this draft Wikipedia page, which was written concerning Baraitser back in October 2019 and rejected as a full article to be published on their page. In case this happens to disappear at some point here is a screenshot of it.

That’s all for the actual text, here’s the sources they included.

the submission was rejected because

She is probably notable through being a judge, however this article only describes two of her notable cases/decisions. Needs more details on her general notability, and biographical information such as where she studied, any awards/special achievements would be useful too.

Here’s a screenshot from the euronews link above about the other extradition case Baraitser was involved in.

More info on the case from France 24:

French investigators are examining his alleged involvement in the 2008 sale of a villa in the French Alps valued at 1.3 million euros ($1.4 million) at the “inflated price” of about 10 million euros.

A Libyan investment fund managed by Bashir Saleh, the ex-chief of staff of Libya’s deposed leader Moamer Kadhafi, bought the property, and Djouhri is suspected of being its true owner, according to a London court ruling last year that ordered his extradition to France.

He is also accused of paying 500,000 euros to Sarkozy aide Claude Gueant “so that he would use his position to make various interventions to assist Mr Djouhri in his business affairs”.

This article does not mention Baraitser by name simply referring to British court.

This other France 24 article mentions this:

Hm. Interesting. Did Baraitser grant the release?

He was extradited this year to France.

Claimed for years by French justice, he was handed over Thursday evening to the authorities at Roissy airport from London, where he was arrested in January 2018 under European arrest warrants.

After a long legal battle, a British court had confirmed on January 22 the decision, made in February 2019 by the Westminster court [i.e. Baraitser], to hand it over to France.

So far, I haven’t been able to get to the bottom of who this woman is, and it seems no one else has either.

What I do find kinda interesting though, is the only other case she has been supposedly involved in is also a extradition case that is also very political and has possible political implications. Make of this what you will. It’s hard to know what to make of it to be honest. But I’m certain, somewhere, somewhere there is something in this whole bizarre story of the almost non-existent district judge.

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