(Image: AAP/Peter Rae)

That Julian Assange has asked the judge in his extradition trial to allow him to sit with his lawyers at the defence table, rather than behind the glass screen of the dock, is typical of the man.

Challenging power at any point that it manifests itself, even in the physical arrangements of a courtroom. The dock used to be open and in the centre of British courtrooms. Now the defendant sits behind a sheet of perspex glass with a few vents in it, at the back or the side of the courtroom.

There is at least honesty in the arrangement in this case. The procedure is a dealing between states, with a piece of courtroom theatre in the middle.