Pre-Trial Detention and Control Orders Under British Anti-Terror Legislation Post 9/11: Balancing a Need for Security With the European Convention on Human Rights – An Overview
24 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2011
Date Written: Decemebr 1, 2010
Contemporary British anti-terror legislation has been characterised by an extensive use of extra-ordinary detention measures: the Terrorism Act 2000 and Terrorism Act 2006 contain provisions, which enable the extended pre-charge detention of terror suspects beyond the limits of normal criminal procedure. The now repealed provisions of Part IV of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 allowed the indefinite detention of foreign national terror suspects on a quasi-judicial basis. Its successor, the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, enables the use of Control Orders, effectively a form of house arrest characterised by restrictions on an individual’s liberty. In short, these measures have in common the extensive limitation of the individual’s right to liberty under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Whilst the judiciary have curtailed the most abhorrent manifestations of such extraordinary measures, as detailed, the legal framework as it exists today, still raises ECHR compliancy issues. Legal reformation should be sought to end such an impasse by amending at the very least the statutory framework already in place. Ideally anti-terror detention provisions should be brought back within the sphere of criminal law and in compliance with the ECHR.
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