There seems to be some confusion on the legality of detaining foreign
nationals who have been refused admission or asylum on the grounds that
they have not accepted the conditions of either formality. The Law
Lords have said that this is in conflict with the European Human Rights
legislation which the UK has been instrumental in formulating. That
there is a conflict may very well be true; but their Lordships went
much further and accused the Government of bad behaviour and bad faith.
This is difficult to follow in the absence of any suggestion as to how
the Government should actually have acted under the circumstances in
order to secure the Law Lords' approval.
I take it we can assume that the UK is not duty bound to accept as a
free citizen any individual who is wanted for murder or terrorism in
their country of origin and manages to set foot on British soil. If we
were, the result over a period of time would be demographically and
socially undesirable even if these individuals were not all dedicated
to inflicting serious damage on our country. That being the case we
have the choice, in the case where the country of origin is likely to
inflict torture or death on the individual concerned, of flouting
either the Convention on Asylum or the Human Rights legislation. There
is no third way open to us unless we throw this country open to all
terrorists and other criminals
who choose to come here and demand the right to a trial in a British
court. At such a trial, which we would be obliged to hold and finance,
we would have to produce all the evidence and its sources required to
convict them or set them free and give them leave to remain, and access
to social security. Osama Bin Laden, should he come here, could demand
such a trial. That would require the revelation of all the evidence and
sources and intelligence methods used, or we would fail to convict. He
then have the right to mastermind his campaign based in London, at
From this I hope most rational people will understand that the Home
Secretary will carefully note the opinion of the Law Lords that there
is a conflict between the requirements of the Asylum Convention and the
Human Rights Act, but the right to a trial in a British court is not
given to all the citizens of other countries (of which here are several
billion) except as a concession under certain conditions. These are not
met in the case of those being detained. It should also be clear
that arguments about internment in Northern Ireland of Irish Citizens,
the effectiveness and legality thereof or the reverse, have no parallel
One of the lawyers who has been allowed to examine the evidence on
which those detained has been refused the right to remain at liberty
here has resigned, not on the grounds that he is being used to justify
the current policy, but that he feels he might
be being so used. Not to put too fine a point on it, it appears he may
not be capable of understanding the evidence he has been given by the
security services, either in its significance or perhaps its technical
detail, or even its probability. I myself know from experience that
governmental departments and systems can make mistakes. It is not
inconceivable that an individual could have been caught in a web of
and an innocent man might be being detained in Belmarsh. But I also
have some knowledge of the difficulties of running a security machine
that can, in a free and open society, continue effective and essential
operations. The dangers and difficulties are more than might be
supposed. The assumption that there is a better action and outcome, for
any of the parties involved, even those detained, is not one that can
safely be made by anyone.
UPDATE FEB 21st 2005
It appears that the logic of the above has been appreciated by the
opposition parties, but they wish a JUDGE to be involved in the
decision to detain
in prison or under house arrest any individual who is not granted
admission to the country but is here and refuses to leave. Now such
people are not being accused - they are being refused admission on the
recommendation of any or all of the following: The Home Office, The
Foreign Office, MI5, MI6, Special Branch, other branches of the Police,
Security and crime prevention agencies. Traditionally it has been the
role of judges to preside over trials. These people are significantly
not being offered a trial or threatened with a trial. They are being
refused admission. I
am therefore puzzled by two demands by the
Conservatives and Liberal Democrats:
They seem to base their
requirements on the principle that party politicians should not take
the decision to detain, but since the recommendation on whether they
admitted or not comes not from politicians but various experts in
institutions independent of government, this point seems to be already
covered. If the Home Secretary overrode the advice he was given I am
sure we would hear about it somehow, dear reader. Opponents have even
fallen back on the proposition that a future Home Secretary (not the
present one, they assure us) might abuse his position and decide on UK
party political grounds to exclude individuals. I think once we have
got to the stage of appointing Home Secretaries that act in that way
without serious regard to the basis of national security, the situation
would have become so desperate that this would be the very least of our
problems. A degree of transparency around, not within, these processes
is sufficient to ensure this situation does not arise without public
knowledge. Such transparency is assured by the existence of ITC and
free media, neither of which can be dis-invented or shut down without a
civil war of some sort.
- 1 That they should be offered, or
forced, to be tried for offences already committed (the world would
a path to our door if such a right existed!).
- 2 That a judge should be involved
if they are NOT offered, or forced into, a trial.
Nothing in the above should leave the reader in any doubt that abuses
have occurred in the Immigration and Nationality Department, their
procedures, their powers, appeal tribunal evidence and records etc. Nor
that abuses may occur in future, I fear they will. But this has nothing
to do with the fact that the government, acting on advice, must be able
to refuse the access to residence and freedom of movement and
communication in the UK to those it believes would be a threat to the
public interest and who do not have UK citizenship.
DETENTION WITHOUT CHARGE
The government may also claim that it may need to detain under house
arrest some who have UK Citizenship, of whom they have evidence of
hostile intention and capability, but do not have evidence to convict
of crimes already committed. In the past, this has not been such a
great problem as the capability of an individual for causing widespread
damage had been limited. Modern technology and technological
dependence/vulnerability has changed the level of risk
Logic cannot bring us to an inevitable conclusion here, it is a matter
for discussion. The precautionary principle cannot be the deciding
factor because the precautionary principle, if applied at the level of
national management, does not allow democracy or freedom. It will be a
case for collective political judgment.
UPDATE FEB 22 2005
The compromise put forward by the government, in the case of the
detention on security grounds of UK citizens, is to involve the
judiciary a maximum of 7 days after the detention has taken place.
Judges will examine the process and judicial review is possible, and
review of the controls imposed carried out within 6 months.
Opponents of the proposed legislation claim that since in the past such
measures have not been necessary, they are not necessary now. Lord
Lloyd (if I hear the name right) was the leading proponent of this
view). I am not impressed by his understanding of the 21st century or
of the processes that take place on the surface of this planet, or his
understanding of history. Kenneth Clarke objects because "British
citizens have never been interned by executive order without trial in
modern times". This is a similar argument. As a remark is of great
significance. As an argument its value is diddly squat. Zero. So
if this proposed law is to be opposed on rational grounds the opponents
will have to do better. British citizens ain't what they used to be. We
have decided to accept the fact that they do not have to be what they
used to be. They do not have to be patriotic or subjects or accept the
protection of the state in good grace. They can be dedicated to the
overthrow of the state, the abolition of the monarchy, and opposed to
the religion which has been the basis of all those laws which have
brought peace and stability without repression. In the past, just over
a century ago, people were hung for treason and that was a slight
deterrent. Death not being a deterrent to those content to commit
suicide to gain recognition in this world or the next, the ability to
detain must be available. Executive orders are not the business of the
Judiciary. They are nothing to do with justice. They are temporary
essential powers that are required to be made official. The opponents
are not concerned with the use if these powers but their abuse. They
should confine their efforts to assuring there is none.
FEB 28th 2005
Two notable opinions.
We are now in a position of immense
privilege and that is paid for by technological vulnerability of
similar magnitude. A modern society, created and sustained only by an
advanced civilisation, cannot afford unlimited freedom to individuals
who are not sharing in that advanced society and who are dedicated to
destruction. Meanwhile Mr Davies rambles on in cuckoo-land.
Donaldson has said it is not
the business of Judges to get involved with executive decisions. They
are referees, to give opinions on the law and on the compliance or
otherwise of individuals with it. I agree with him. They can always be
called on when required, but it is vital they are not the operational
branch of government.
Follet has said that what
was good enough in the days of Magna Carta is (therefore, she implies)
good enough for us now. I disagree. There was no damage a deranged
individual could do to the fabric of society in those days unless they
were King. That was the reason for Magna Carta. So Follet has
completely misunderstood he Magna Carta argument - it works the other
way round, just as Lord Donaldson has pointed out with the Judiciary
argument. Follet's view is based on a South African experience, wherein
no single comparison is possible amongst the elements involved.
MARCH 1st 2005
The Home Secretary has (against his better judgment) agreed to involve
judges in executive detentions decisions. In an example of extreme
irony, this has alerted the opposition to the fact that judges want
none of it, quite rightly! The result is the opposition will back the
bill providing the law expires in November, which will give them time
to debate a new bill at length. However, in the meantime, a lot of
rubbish has been talked in the Lords by people who through ignorance
have allowed all sorts of injustice to be perpetrated over the years,
suddenly concerned that these new special detention powers against a
handful of suspected terrorists represent a new and fundamental threat
to the liberty of citizens. In order to prevent that you need to ensure
good management of the executive and the judiciary, not think you can
absolve yourself by passing gradiose laws that leave the police
powerless and the citizens unprotected.
We should be concentrating on stopping the abuse of those detained, and
on preventing the use of torture under any circumstances, not
preventing the executive arms of government from putting restraints on
the freedom of those who have indicated their propensity to carry out
acts of terrorism and destruction. We are so confused and in
denial of the real problems that we are arguing completely at cross
purposes. Latest: Tories have gone for 'sunset clause'
instead of opposition to bill. They would have found the judges quite
unwilling to be used as
policemen or politicians. But - stop press - the PM points out that the
legislation has to be reviewed annually in any event, so this sunset
clause is a bit ridiculous. Looks like there is going to be no
agreement. Asking judges to make up their minds in a
hurry on restraint or detention is certainly ridiculous and not their
role. Of course judges can be called on to examine the case of those
actually detained or restrained.
MARCH 7th 2005
The speeches in the House of Lords today were dismal. Fear of Rory
Bremner seemed to be uppermost in their minds. One day we hear from the
comedians that non-elected people should not take vital decisions, and
the next that elected people should not be allowed, only judges, Soon
perhaps we shall have calls for popular election of judges. What
absolute cobblers we now witness as people who have never thought
anything through in their lives are called to do so in public, under
pressure. The Home Secretary should have no emergency executive powers?
such as 'the rule of law' are bandied about with little or no
understanding of what they mean, by those who have spent a lifetime
dispensing it. Godel, Escher, Bach gives perhaps some insight into how
this can occur. Scientists are sometimes quite unaware of the role and
wider meaning of science.
The debates and discussions that have taken place on March 9th, when
the Government has won a temporary victory against the inclusion of a
'sunset clause' before the bill goes back to the Lords, reveal an
interesting reality behind this dispute. Many members of both houses
are unaware of the great difficulties our security services labour
under compared to other European countries. Quite apart from the
adversarial justice system (should anyone be brought to trial) which
can prevent the truth from surfacing, the freedoms enjoyed by the
inhabitants of these islands are of a different order to e.g. France,
Germany or Switzerland. It is possible to live in the UK without any
established identity or residence and to avoid the intrusion by
authorities into privacy or residence. People can conceal their
identity, have multiple identities and steal identities. If this
relaxed situation is to remain, there has to be the possibility for the
executive arm of government to detain or restrain at short notice,
without proof of guilt, those it has reason to believe are a serious
risk to the community. By all means allow senior members of the
judiciary to examine the circumstances. But those who oppose this law
have no idea of the difficulties the security services have when faced
with a threat that is neither random nor disorganised, and yet has all
the indetectablity of a spontaneous movement due to multiple sources
and strange motivation. Countermeasures therfore depend on intelligence
of considerable complexity. There are very serious abuses that occur
already in our justice system, and liberty is taken away of many
innocent people. Politicians have done absolutely nothing about it for
years. Yet the laws they are now obstructing do not affect the
thousands who have suffered from this, they concern very few people,
whose cases are carefully examined. The grandstanding is total humbug,
by MPs who are totally out of touch, trying to currying favour as
guardians of a status quo of which they have no real knowledge.
OCTOBER 09 2005
With the return of MPs after the summer recess the debate starts again
on the latest Government proposals. Various law lords warn that
these run counter to the EU Human Rights provisions. Some Liberal
Democrats are of the opinion that changes in the law can define new
offences for which those who would be detained on suspicion of
terrorism could be accused and brought to trial in the short term,
wthout prejudice to later proceedings, rather than be detained without
explanation. That my well be true in a few cases, but the objection to
the proposed legislation which allows for a weekly or fortnightly
judicial review of the justification by the security services that more
time is required to gather evidence appears to be based on the
contention that the judges employed for this purpose might be either
incompetent, corrupt, or secretly chosen by government from amongst
those who support a hardline, anti-liberal attitude. I do not find this
a reasonable argument.
NOVEMBER 03 2005
At last some serious work from the opposition! For the first time it
has been suggested that a change in the law to allow further
interviewing by police after a suspected terrorist has been charged is
on the cards. This, combined with other 'finessing' of the bill might
satisfy all parties. Perhaps we can get some good work out of
Parliament on this subject instead of just opposition.
NOVEMBER 07 2005
By 'finessing' in the previous paragraph I did not mean altering the 90
day detention figure. only the circumstances surrounding it. But it is
now clear that for political reasons the Liberals and Tories are going
to stick to their insistance that under no circumstances is 90 days
admissable, in spite of the fact that this is going to apply to very
few people, whose circumstances will be monitores by a high court
judge. The claim that this is a fundamental attack on our human rights
and liberty is not credible. The talk of a 'leap from 14 to 90 days
being a leap too far' is equally fatuous. The 14 days was not practical
in any sense in the current circumstances for the very few cases we are
talking about. The argument that it could be a recruiting motive
is equally perverse. Even if it is, that is no reason for abandoning a
policy unless there is a workable alternative that those who have to
work it are satisfied with, or there is a plan to recruit more, newer,
better investigative staff for the security services.
STOP PRESS Nov 07 2005: 10:30pm - The
PM is going for broke on the 90 days, calling the bluff of the other
NOVEMBER 8th 2005
A sunset clause and compensation for wrongful detention are the sort of
adjustments that make sense. This should not be a party-political
issue, yet the Liberals and Tories have made it one and then blame the
PM's party-political response. It is not a question of 'giving
the police what they want'. It is a matter of politicians giving the
police what they need, in the light of all the information. It has
nothing to do with Habeas Corpus or civil liberties as this concerns
few cases, which will be under extreme surveillance. No detainees will
have been so surveyed in the entire history of detention.
NOVEMBER 9th 2005
The 90 day bill is defeated. All those with a variety of different
motives to vote against, including those upset with the police, with
Blair, with the IRA being let off some hooks, with Iraq, with George
Bush, with..... well almost anything except terrorists.... were always
likely to outnumber those with just a cool eye on the ball. However,
that's how it goes. It's not the end of the world (for most people
anyway), We are told its a 'humiliation' for the PM. Can't see why.
It's a defeat. For every winner, in an adversarial situation, there is
a loser. The Liberals have spent a lifetime at it and the Tories have
become quite expert, so are they humiliated every hour of every day? I
rather think not.
Many people have confused the fact that prisons hold many innocent
people with the purpose of this bill. That is something MPs should
attend to that. Meantime 28 days has been accepted. The police will
cope with that as well as they can.
QUESTION: What is the quickest way to get the greatest extention of the
current 14 day limit on detention before being charged with a specific
crime through the House of Lords?
ANSWER: By convincing the Tories and Lib Dems that 28 days good, is
their idea and a great victory that their party representatives in the
Lords should support.
QUESTION: How do you do that?
ANSWER: By doing the right thing and being prepared to lose.
QUESTION BEING ASKED (BUT NOT HERE): How could the PM get it so wrong?
ANSWER: I can't possibly comment.
NOVEMBER 12th 2005
An endless debate now seems to have commenced, after the vote on
the bill, on the detention-without-charge issue. Those members of the
public speaking most loudly in the media against the extension to 28 or
90 days are under the impression that these powers of detention are
given to every policeman on the beat. But these new powers are not
given to the police at all. They are given to high court judges trained
over a lifetime in the law and civil liberties, empowered to look at
all the facts concerning the arrest and the gathering of evidence in
these special cases. So here again we have yet a further example of how
the media, written and broadcast, indulge in their role as masters of
ceremony of a national parliament of the misiniformed, in which they
strut their stuff as champions of democracy.
APRIL 1st 2008
have left this topic alone for over two years. The 28 days was, as the
reader will have guessed, been the compromise that was settled on.
According to the current Director of Public Prosecutions it is working
OK, but it is hardly likely that it will be enough in the times to come
if we are to give investigators a chance to deal with the complex web
of evidence that surrounds the terrorism activities of the 21st
century. So now it is back on the agenda, with a proposal from the
Governmenet for a 42 day maximum period of detention without charge for
terrorist suspects. Outlining
the new plans, the Home Secretary said that the power would "only be
where there is a clear operational need related to a particular
operation or investigation", and that the government approach was
"significantly different from the one originally proposed",
Opponents of the bill say they have dveised alternative methods,
including giving police the right to interrogate after charges have
been laid, and in using lesser charges to validate detention until
further evidence is unearthed. But these are merely fiddles in my view.
It makes more sense to have a clear 42 day period, to have proper
judicial oversight, and to give full and fair compensation for those
who are found with hindsight to have been detained without good
cause..The bill has passed its first reading, but there will be much
opposition from the civil liberty absolutists. I do not agree with the
absolutists who support eh bill either. Frank Field beiieves that if
giving the police 42 days to gather evidence saves a single life, it is
worth while. This argument, that if some law saves a single life it is
worth it, is and always has been utter bollocks. I used to think
Field had some brains but he has clearly lost them.
APRIL 30th 2008
In spite of opposition by Tories, Liberals and some Labour rebels
Gordon Brown is going to press for 42 days. The head of the CPS, Sir
Ken McDonald, says in his experience 28 days works well. But what does
Ken McDonald know of the pressures and risks born daily by the
overworked, overstretched and overstressed men and women who have to
deal with the terrorist threat. Answer: bugger all, as these people get
on with the job, never complain and bust their guts to do what is
The 42 day period is not to be a norm, it is to be there in case it is
needed in very special cases with many safeguards. It is absurd to have
a 28-day limit that can never be exceeded. Those opposing 42 days say
that in these cases there will be other means of holding suspects and
even that questioning by police can continue after charges have been
made, but there are snags to this. Brown has good reason to think that
those at the coal face know more about the needs and more about the
pressures and problems than Sir Ken. Too often in both the security
services and the military senior officials are spared the true facts of
the cutting edge of their operations until limits are reached.
JUNE 2nd 2008
The opponents of the 42 day detention option are still under the
impression that Habeas Corpus is under threat and that other countries
have laws that do not allow for detention beyond a week. They seem to
be blissfully unaware that in all of these countries any terrorist
suspect can be charged with some offence that in this country would not
even be an offence, and from that moment detained indefinitely. The
real charge, if the police in these countries finally get around to
assembling all the evidence, can be withheld from the prisoner till the
state's convenience. Those not ignorant of this are just indulging in
political hypcrisy, but what the former Attorney General and the
current DPP are up to is a mystery to me. These men are not idiots and
the only explanation I can imagine is that nobody has thought to inform
them of realities they are assumed to be familiar with, due to the
seniority of their positions. It is ironic that it is the PM who is
accused of being out of touch. It seems he know exactly what the
Shami Chakrabarti, director of
civil rights group Liberty, told BBC
Radio 4's Today programme the current 28-day limit was already "way out
of line" with the rest of Europe.
think Chakrabarti is sadly misinformed of what happens in the rest of
Europe. Lord Carlisle, the independent reviewer of terrorism
legislation could enlighten her.
Brown 'will stick to' terror plan
Mr Brown refused to be drawn on whether the issue would become a
vote of confidence
Gordon Brown says he is
determined to stick to his principles over
plans to allow police to detain terror suspects for 42 days without
The prime minister says
the extension from 28-days is needed because the security services are
pursuing around 2,000 terrorists and 30 plots.
But he faces opposition from
about 50 Labour MPs, in addition to Lib Dems and Tories amid fears over
Mr Brown says he has "tried to
build a consensus" and urged MPs to back him.
MPs will be voting on the proposals - part of the Counter-Terrorism
Bill - next week.
The 42-day detention proposal has been criticised, not only by
backbench Labour MPs but also the director of public prosecutions and
by the former attorney general Lord Goldsmith.
It has also been criticised by the Council of Europe's human rights
commissioner, Thomas Hammarberg, it has been reported.
| I am determined that we stick to
our principles and that is that up to
42 days' detention is and will be necessary in the future
He has written to Mr Brown to say 42 days' detention without charge
would be "excessive" and "counter-productive".
But speaking at a news conference in Downing Street to mark the
of the Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Mr Brown said he hoped the
measure would receive the approval of Parliament.
He said the "scale and complexity" of the terrorist
threat facing Britain - with security services pursing around 2,000
terrorists, 30 potential plots and 200 networks - provided compelling
evidence of the need to increase the amount of time suspects could be
held without charge.
He also refused to be drawn on whether defeat would mean a vote of
confidence on his leadership.
"I've tried to build consensus around our proposals, but I am
determined that we stick to our principles and that is that up to 42
days' detention is and will be necessary in the future," he said.
"But Parliament will make the final decision on the individual
"And when we put forward all our proposals people will see very
that the civil liberties of individuals are taken fully into account."
He listed safeguards that would be made to maximise protection
against "arbitrary treatment".
These included that detention beyond 28 days would be allowed only
specific circumstances. The home secretary, director of public
prosecutions, the police and Parliament must sanction it.
The judiciary would oversee each individual case, and there must be
public reporting on each case, he wrote.
The home secretary is set to meet Labour MPs on Monday evening in
an effort to persuade them of the merits of the proposal.
More than 50 of them have expressed concerns - a number that could
spell defeat for the government when Parliament votes on the plan.
BBC correspondents say the government is likely to offer two main
concessions to try to appease Labour backbenchers:
MPs could be allowed to vote after seven days - instead of after 30
days - on the home secretary's decision to grant the police the right
to detain someone for up to 42 days.
And police would only have 30 days instead of 60 days in which to
the power of detaining someone for more than 28 days, following the
home secretary's decision.
Justice Secretary Jack Straw told BBC One's Andrew Marr
Show on Sunday that the law would be triggered only in a "grave
But veteran Labour MP David Winnick said there was "no evidence"
for the increased detention time.
"If there was any evidence, then I would vote for an extension, but
government is not providing any evidence. What it is saying is 'it may
be necessary in the future'," he said.
"It would be a poor day if on such a crucial issue Parliament did
not decide on the merits of the case."
Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty, told BBC
Radio 4's Today programme the current 28-day limit was already "way out
of line" with the rest of Europe.
She said that people all over the world were saying
"please don't send this signal to other countries that it's acceptable
to lock people up for longer and longer periods without charge, without
knowing why it is you are locked up, without knowing what it is you're
In today's Daily Telegraph Peter Clarke, the recently retired head of
Scotland Yard's counter terrorism command, explains in simple language
why the 42 day emergency extension is essential. It should not need to
be explained to any MP with a functioning brain, but Cameron and his
pet ape Davis have problems in this direction.
OCTOBER 13th 2008
After a load of twaddle being talked about Magna Carta, the Lords
rejected the 42 day detention clause in the anti-terrorism bill. The
clause has been so mauled to satisfy those who don't understand
why it is necessary or how it will be used that frankly it is better it
fails. A simpler emergency act can be prepared on this matter that can
be introduced at short notice when required. Once you get their
lordships up on their feet defending the rights of the common man there
is no reasoning with them. They will defend his/her rights to the
death - to the death of him and/or her that is, probably not their
lordships, though you never can tell...
shelve 42-day detention
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has told MPs that plans to extend
detention to 42 days will be dropped from the Counter-Terrorism Bill.
It follows a heavy defeat for the government in the House of Lords,
which threw out the plan by 309 votes to 118.
Ms Smith said instead the measure would be in a separate piece of
legislation to be brought to Parliament if needed.
The Tories said she should just say she was abandoning 42 days. The
Lib Dems said it was a "humiliating retreat".
The government's plan to extend the period for which police can hold
terrorist suspects before charging them squeezed through the Commons in
June by just nine votes.
On Monday, it was defeated by a majority of 191 votes in the Lords,
described by the Conservative former shadow home secretary David Davis
as "the biggest defeat in the Lords in living memory".
In a forceful statement to MPs less than two hours
after the vote, Ms Smith said: "I deeply regret that some have been
prepared to ignore the terrorist threat, for fear of taking a tough but
The decision to prepare emergency
legislation instead is merely a fig leaf which does little to disguise
Lib Dem leader
She said she had prepared a new bill which would allow the director
public prosecutions to apply to the courts to question a terrorist
suspect for up to 42 days "should the worst happen".
She said Britain still needed to "be prepared to deal
with the worst", adding: "My priority remains the protection of the
"I don't believe as some honourable members clearly do
that it's enough to simply cross our fingers and hope for the best.
That is not good enough."
Shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve said the prime minister's spin
doctors had stopped Ms Smith from "saying in straightforward terms that
she is abandoning 42 days".
He told Ms Smith: "You somewhat demean yourself when
you, yet again, come back to this argument that those who oppose the
government's measures are weak on terrorism."
He said the Conservatives were "perfectly prepared to be firm on
terrorism" and pass difficult bills.
Lords reject 42-day detention plan
"But they have to be credible, they have to be based on evidence and
they must not be put forward in a way that smacks of mere political
posturing and gimmicks."
He questioned the need for the new bill, asking why the government
could not simply use existing civil contingency powers.
Mr Davis, who resigned his seat in protest at the Commons vote on 42
days in June, described the move as a "spectacular climbdown".
Liberal Democrat spokesman Chris Huhne said the
government had "comprehensively lost the argument" and was now in
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg added: "The decision to
prepare emergency legislation instead is merely a fig leaf which does
little to disguise their defeat."
He added: "The push for 42 days' detention was more
about ministers posturing and looking tough than it ever was about
FEBRUARY 1st 2010
The government instituted a procedure of CONTROL ORDERS which has been
running successfully until recently challenged in the courts on the
basis that all detainees should be aware of the charges against them and the evidence for them. The
government is going to hae to come up with some new legistlation or
release some dangerous men.
More than a year after the last entry it is time to sum up. In the
words of Lord Carlile....
Control orders used to monitor some terror suspects
must not be abandoned as the move could damage UK security, a review of
legislation has concluded.
Independent reviewer Lord Carlile
said there were "no better means" of restricting some suspects' actions
than the house arrest-like conditions.
But he said more minor suspects could have foreign travel bans
The Home Secretary said control orders remained an important tool. They
are currently in place against 12 people.