Saturday, March 05, 2005


Joint Committee on Human Rights attacks the rushing through of the Terrorism Bill

5 March 2005
~ The

Independent's Political Corresspondent, Ben Russell,

" ... the Joint Committee on Human Rights said yesterday that plans to give judges - rather than the Home Secretary - the power to put suspected terrorists under house arrest without charge still failed "to satisfy the basic requirement of legality".

... police could already hold a terror suspect for up to 14 days before bringing charges.
... lesser "control orders"....should also be decided by the courts...
It questioned whether the proposed system of hearings "constitutes a sufficient safeguard against arbitrary detention to satisfy the basic requirement of legality".

Peers will resume the debate on Monday, before it returns to the Commons on Wednesday.

The ex-law lord, Lord Ackner,said senior members of the judiciary would find the measures "unacceptable". .." Read in full

4 March 2005
~Thanks to the change of heart by the Coservatives, the Government's plan to bring in a national identity card scheme is to be shelved until after the general election. See Independent

3 March 2005
~ "The government's hand was forced by a demand the previous day from Lord Boyce, then chief of defence staff, for "unequivocal" advice that the invasion would be lawful - a clear indication that the March 7 advice was equivocal. So concerned was the government to keep the March 7 advice under wraps that it initially refused to show it to the Butler committee. It gave way only after the committee threatened to go public over the refusal..." Richard Norton-Taylor
in the Guardian today "The attorney who passed the buck"
"Earlier this week Lynne Jones MP asked Tony Blair whether the complete text of the attorney's opinion on the legality of the invasion of Iraq was seen by the full cabinet, as the official ministerial code requires it to be. With no hint of irony, he replied: "Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice and the proceedings of cabinet and cabinet committees is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion."

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