Lords wrong on detainees - Straw

December 17th, 2004  

Topic: Lords wrong on detainees - Straw

Jack Straw has attacked the decision by Britain's highest court that detaining foreign terrorist suspects without trial breaks human rights laws.
The foreign secretary said the right to life was the "most important liberty" and the government had a duty to protect people from terrorism.

Law lords were "simply wrong" to imply the men were being held arbitrarily.

New Home Secretary Charles Clarke vowed the nine men would remain in prison while the law was being reviewed.


The House of Lords ruled by an eight to one majority in favour of appeals by the men - dealing a major blow to the government's anti-terror policy.

But Mr Straw denied it amounted to a "constitutional crisis".

He said those held had a right of appeal to the special immigration appeal tribunal and the decision to hold the suspects was upheld by that court.

"The law lords are simply wrong to imply that this is a decision to detain these people on the whim or the certificate of the home secretary," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

The foreign secretary insisted it was for Parliament, and not judges, to decide how best Britain could be defended against the threat of terrorism.

But Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile, the government's independent reviewer of anti-terrorism laws, said it was possible some of the detainees could now be released.

He said the Law Lords' ruling was an "embarrassment" for the government and major changes were needed to the law.


The ruling came on Charles Clarke's first day as home secretary following David Blunkett's resignation.

In a statement to MPs, Mr Clarke said: "I will be asking Parliament to renew this legislation in the New Year.

In the meantime, we will be studying the judgment carefully to see whether it is possible to modify our legislation to address the concerns raised by the House of Lords."

The detainees took their case to the House of Lords after the Court of Appeal backed the Home Office's powers to hold them without limit or charge.

The government opted out of part of the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the right to a fair trial in order to bring in anti-terrorism legislation in response to the 11 September attacks in the US.

Any foreign national suspected of links with terrorism can be detained or can opt to be deported.

But those detained cannot be deported if this would mean persecution in their homeland.

On Thursday, Lord Bingham - a senior law lord - said the rules were incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights as they allowed detentions "in a way that discriminates on the ground of nationality or immigration status" by justifying detention without trial for foreign suspects, but not Britons.

Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, in his ruling, said: "Indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial is anathema in any country which observes the rule of law.

In a statement, detainee 'A' in Woodhill Prison said: "I hope now that the government will act upon this decision, scrap this illegal 'law' and release me and the other internees to return to our families and loved ones."

The case was heard by a panel of nine law lords rather than the usual five because of the constitutional importance of the case.

Solicitor Gareth Pierce, who represents eight of the detainees, claimed the detention had driven four of the detainees to "madness", saying two were being held in Broadmoor hospital.

...............You think this is wrong or right?
December 17th, 2004  

we need to make sure these guys arent going to blow us up if we let them in...human rights my arse..were taking them in and giving them all our ****ing money....what about the human rights of the people that get blown up because they're letting terrorists in without making sure
December 17th, 2004  

Topic: i hear ya

i know that feeling........they come in feed off our taxes, take our homes..............the money the government has for us and people thatactually need it is being used on terroists and asylum seekers. ok if the asylum seekers were willing to get a job and make and effort then i see no harm but if they are gonna come in attack our military personnel which has been known and then claim racial abbuse isdon't see why we can't kick them out as quick as we let them in?

Uk government thinks of other people and countries first rather than its own.
December 17th, 2004  

Topic: Re: i hear ya

Originally Posted by Anya1982

Uk government thinks of other people and countries first rather than its own.
yeah....thats why theres homeless people all over the streets of manchester....why arent they being given houses and 300 a week benefits?

It really pisses me off because they dont even make an effort to do anything...they try to take over areas...like bradford...they are bricking the windows of white people so they will move and the immigrants can have the area to themselfs....it me off so much
December 17th, 2004  
A Can of Man
I've got a few mates in England ... English of course and yeah I know the feeling. That money they spend on illegal immigrants... they sure as heck could use some of that.
They got to focus on making life better for the people who are there legitimately (whether locally or foreign born... legitimate presence is what's important) and stop feeling "sorry" for these people who show up, suck up precious government money and perhaps even pose a security threat.
It's not just the government that's at fault though, it's also those groups of self-concsious do-gooders who feel embarrased, ashamed and full of guilt for not living in absolute poverty.
December 17th, 2004  

Topic: yep yep

hey i ain't got a problem with government helping hte asylum seekers as long as those immagraints wanna make a change actual work and try to fit in..................instead of screaming abbuse and bleeding us dry.

But like i said before UK rather help others before helping us! Like NHS doctors and dentists are full up of foriegners........aka asylum and immagraints cus i sure as hell can't get on the lists which is not fair cus the NHS is set up for home landers not foriegners!

I ain't racist just can't see why uk gov. won't help its own as a priority
December 17th, 2004  
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