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UK legal expert in Iraq joins critics of terror laws

By Iain S Bruce

THE international legal expert charged with training Iraq’s next generation of lawyers and judges has revealed that his efforts are being severely hampered by the UK’s increasingly controversial stance on human rights.

Professor Alan Miller, part of the International Bar Association team training more than 650 members of Iraq’s fledgling judicial system, claims that the UK government’s Prevention of Terrorism Bill has sparked outrage by undermining the same civil liberties it is determined to impose in the Middle East.

“After centuries of pride in its status as a bastion of liberty, suddenly the UK has abandoned the rule of law, one of this county’s most fundamental principles,” said Miller, director of McGrigors International Human Rights Consultancy and visiting professor of law at the University of Strathclyde.

“In doing so, it has given a green light for some of the world’s most oppressive regimes to clamp down upon individual freedom.

“I now have to spend the first two days of every training session trying to unravel the fury over Britain’s hypocrisy.

“They [the trainees] ask how likely it is that regimes like Libya are going to stop detaining political prisoners when the so-called shining lights have just effectively endorsed the practice.

“They are outraged that an almost impossible task has been made even harder.”

06 March 2005