Control orders watered down but remain


by Rumbold
27th January, 2011 at 9:27 am    

The Home Secretary has announced some reforms of the control order system and detention without trial:

“Control orders mark II” will end the powers of the home secretary to order the virtual house arrest of terror suspects and to force their relocation. Each individual order will be limited to a maximum of two years.

The current regime will remain in force until December when it will be replaced by escalating measures including an undefined overnight residence requirement backed by electronic tagging and restrictions on travel, but also allowing greater access to the internet, phones and personal meetings. The government will have to specify in legislation, in greater detail than at present, the measures that can be used.

Some of this is good news. Control orders and lengthy detention without trial are unpleasant features of our justice system. They go against the principle of innocent until proven guilty, and are not easily defensible. Any scaling back of them is therefore welcome form a civil liberties point of view. If people have to be held in this way for security reasons, then they should have as many rights as possible, since there isn’t enough evidence to bring them to trial, or the evidence cannot be heard in court. From a security angle too, it makes sense, as they will be able to monitor suspects’ communications. I would like to see more use made of deportation if possible.

Plans to roll back other powers which have been misused are welcome too:

• Section 44 stop and search powers: existing powers to be replaced with a much more tightly drawn power to stop and search without suspicion.

• Photographers: changes to be made to guidance on section 58a so it no longer prevents photographing police officers or security guards.

• Surveillance: the use of surveillance operations by local authorities under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to be restricted to cases where the offence carries a prison sentence of at least six months. Investigations into underage alcohol and tobacco sales to be exempted.

The bad thing is that the control orders have become (unsurprisingly) a permanent feature of the justice system, and no longer subject to review, and that we still have a system where people can be detained for two weeks without trial, or have their liberty severely curtailed without ever being convicted or even to know the specific charges against them. No system will ever be perfect: how do you deal with people who you know are terrorists, but cannot prove it in a court of law because the evidence comes from a protected source? Perhaps a type of much-reduced control order could be the answer, since it could be better than the alternatives, and the trick is just to heavily monitor these people whilst placing a few restrictions on them.

Update: More discussion of the situation from Newsy.

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com

(From Rosa Sow at Newsy)

Update 2: Amnesty condemns the failure to fully address civil liberties concerns in the counter-terrorism review:

Amnesty International has condemned the recommendation of the UK counter-terrorism review that supports and seeks to extend the use of diplomatic assurances to return people to countries where they risk being tortured. Amnesty expressed concern that this worrying measure was supported by all three of the UK’s major political parties.

The counter-terrorism review rejected submissions from human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, that such “no torture” promises from governments of countries where torture and ill-treatment are systematic or widespread are inherently unreliable and do not sufficiently protect against torture and other ill-treatment.

The UK has been Europe’s most aggressive and influential proponent of these dangerous deals, which are unreliable and unenforceable.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“The counter-terrorism review’s proposal to extend deportations with assurances could expose more people to the risk of torture – yet it passed by almost unnoticed and with no opposition. Maybe it’s a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

“It’s appalling that all three of the UK’s main political parties are happy to waive through a policy that could lead to people being sent to countries where they risk being tortured.

“The UK is pioneering the use of these unreliable, unenforceable ‘no torture’ deals. In doing so it is undermining the UN Convention Against Torture. Diplomatic assurances should have no place in a country that is genuinely committed to the fight against torture.”

The UK government has sought to deport foreign nationals accused of terrorism-related activity by a variety of means, to a number of states with poor human rights records. To date, the UK has formal ‘memoranda of understanding’ (MoUs) with Lebanon, Jordan, Libya and Ethiopia which contain assurances regarding the treatment of such deportees.

The UK has also negotiated bilateral assurances with the Algerian government on a case by case basis to cover individual deportations. In recent months, the UK government has additionally sought to deport individuals suspected of terrorism-related activity to Pakistan.

The UK Home Office review said that monitoring arrangements with local human rights organisations in countries such as Ethiopia would ensure that any mistreatment would be quickly identified and would enable the UK to raise its concerns about mistreatment to the country in question.

Amnesty International considers that no system of post-return monitoring of individuals will make assurances an acceptable alternative to rigorous respect for the absolute ban on returning people to countries where they may face torture or other ill-treatment. Amnesty believes that the UK government’s position ignores the experience and concerns of international human rights organisations. The Home Office review fails to appreciate the context in which torture occurs in countries where it is systematic or widespread. The climate of secrecy, impunity and deniability in such situations means that assurances cannot reliably mitigate against the risk of torture and ill-treatment.

As the review itself conceded, where an assurance is breached it is simply left to the governments involved to voluntarily assume responsibility for investigating the breach and hold those responsible to account. Neither government is likely to wish to acknowledge, especially in any public way, that their actions have led to the torture or abuse of a prisoner. Relying only on the good faith of the states implicated also compromises the ability of torture victims to secure their right to reparation and redress. It ignores the fact that, even leaving aside physical consequences, the psychological harm to a person who has been subjected to torture can never fully be repaired.

The use of ‘diplomatic assurances’ by European countries has been criticised by a number of intergovernmental bodies, including United Nations special procedures. Committees of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament have also criticised diplomatic assurances and have expressly called on member states not to use them.

The UK counter-terrorism review also announced the repeal of control orders and their replacement with “Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures”, or Tpims. While less drastic than the previous control orders regime, the new system still retains significant restrictions on the rights to liberty, privacy, expression, movement and association.

No details of any changes to the use of secret evidence and the Special Advocates regime were announced. Amnesty believes that if people will still face the consequences of being labelled ‘suspected terrorists’ and subjected to special restrictions on their lives, without a fair trial that includes a chance to know the allegations against them in enough detail to have a real chance of challenging the government’s case, this would not be consistent with respect for human rights.

The Home Office review also examined stop and search powers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, the length of pre-charge detention, the use of communications data including under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and measures to deal with organisations that promote hatred or violence. Amnesty International is currently assessing the full recommendations of the review in detail.

(From Steve Ballinger at Amnesty)


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Control orders watered down but remain http://bit.ly/flwIWb


  2. Sue Marsh

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Control orders watered down but remain http://bit.ly/flwIWb


  3. Ben Folley

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Control orders watered down but remain http://bit.ly/flwIWb




  1. Arif — on 27th January, 2011 at 9:58 am  

    The question is, if you are innocent, what should you do if control orders are put on you to have them lifted?

    Is there anything you can do other than wait and hope?

  2. MaidMarian — on 27th January, 2011 at 10:03 am  

    I’m afraid that much of the coverage on civil liberty has rather missed the point. We can make the liberty regime as benign or as tight as we like – for as long as people demand of government, ‘something must be done,’ and commitment to civil liberty is only as good as the next terror attack. Can you imagine what the reaction would be if a London airport had been attacked instead of a Moscow one?

    We – society – are the ones doing it. We are the ones who are letting our fears prevent us from properly regulating our relationships with each other. The state has not barged in it has been actively invited in by people fearful of immigrants, the underclass, child molesters and so on. Blame the media all you like, the people are the ones demanding action and no one seems to care much about the liberty implications whilst making demands of the state.

    Civil liberty is not the issue. The demands of something must be done are. Until you start to take on those demands, until people start to regulate their relationships without looking to the state civil liberty is a red-herring.

    I would add though Rumbold, it is good to see a slightly more detatched article on this than some of the swivel-eyed nonsense on here. Is it something like eight control orders, out of a population of 60m? It’s not North Korea, however much frothing of CiF might want it to be.

  3. Rumbold — on 27th January, 2011 at 10:10 am  

    You should be able to appeal to a judge who would hear the evidence in secret (without you), then decide whether to lift it or not. Not perfect, but an improvement.

  4. Rumbold — on 27th January, 2011 at 10:15 am  

    MaidMarian:

    I agree. Many politicians are worried about how the public will react. Imposing control orders on a few people who the public see as undesirables will never lose you many votes. Allowing someone to roam free who then commits a terrorist act will lose you a lot of votes. In that it is as much a society problem as anything else.

  5. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 10:23 am  

    These developments are welcome news – they aren’t enough, but they are welcome.

    Rumbold,

    the trick is just to heavily monitor these people whilst placing a few restrictions on them.

    The authorities claim that resources are insufficient to monitor these people.

    Presumably because resources have been allocated to infiltrating mass murdering environmentalist groups.

    Arif,

    The question is, if you are innocent, what should you do if control orders are put on you to have them lifted?

    Is there anything you can do other than wait and hope?

    You can appeal – the courts don’t always side with the Home Secretary.

  6. douglas clark — on 27th January, 2011 at 10:31 am  

    Rumbold @ 4,

    I agree. But that is our problem in failing to actually appreciate the society we live in. I had lunch yesterday with a chap that would hang paedophiles without trial. He is, otherwise, a decent sort of chap.

    It is that sort of insanity you are up against.

    Per 3. Why shouldn’t the victim of a control order not have the right to be present at a hearing about the aforesaid control order, as per your scenario? Justice has to be seen to be done, etc…

  7. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 10:35 am  

    If people are genuinely interested in control orders they could do worse than search BAILII for relevant judgements (title along the lines of, “Secretary of State for Home Department v A”, or vice versa).

    I don’t think anyone is going around issuing control orders willy-nilly – nor do we live in a police state. But sometimes Home Secretaries get it ‘wrong’.

  8. MaidMarian — on 27th January, 2011 at 10:41 am  

    Rumbold – Yes. Until people see acts of terror etc as the acts of madmen civil liberty is a red herring. For as long as people react to events as if it was the Minister who detonated the bomb then quite frankly it is difficult to see what more a Minister can do.

    It is not just terror that we are seeing it, it is in all walks of life. My wife (a UK citizen) applied for a visa for her brother to come to the UK for a holiday for 2 weeks and he has been turned down. People – society have demanded tighter immigration laws because they no longer trust me and my wife. At work, I have run into CRB problems – but the CRB was created as a response to demands for protection and for the state to act. My sport club had to jump through endless hoops for health and safety, because society will run to no-win-no-fee lawyers.

    It is in so many walks of life. Yes – I want the state to get off my back, but I want society to stop putting it there in the first place. Restrictions of civil liberty were a symptom, not a cause and until comment starts to look at the bigger picture we will just go around in circles.

  9. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 10:42 am  

    douglas,

    Per 3. Why shouldn’t the victim of a control order not have the right to be present at a hearing about the aforesaid control order, as per your scenario? Justice has to be seen to be done, etc…

    The appellant is usually present except when there is evidence that must be presented in secret (according to the authorities). This has been the subject of much legal wrangling.

    He is not entirely unrepresented in the closed sessions – he is represented by a ‘Special Advocate’.

    Here is some oral evidence given to the Joint Committee on Human Rights by three lawyers who act as Special Advocates.

  10. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 10:42 am  

    sorry – that evidence begins at Q33.

  11. Rumbold — on 27th January, 2011 at 11:17 am  

    Ukliberty:

    The authorities claim that resources are insufficient to monitor these people.

    It is resource heavy, but that is what local police services are for- that is how MI5 operated for decades, with a small central staff and using local forces.

    Presumably because resources have been allocated to infiltrating mass murdering environmentalist groups.

    Haha.

    Douglas:

    Why shouldn’t the victim of a control order not have the right to be present at a hearing about the aforesaid control order, as per your scenario?

    For fear of revealing sources- that is why it often doesn’t go to trial either. Let’s say a tip off comes in from an informant in a terrorist group. You can’t really reveal this or get the witness to appear in court (“please can you fly over from Yemen thanks”), without fear of compromising them.

  12. Rumbold — on 27th January, 2011 at 11:50 am  

    MaidMarian:

    Until people see acts of terror etc as the acts of madmen civil liberty is a red herring.

    Yes, exactly.

    It is in so many walks of life. Yes – I want the state to get off my back, but I want society to stop putting it there in the first place. Restrictions of civil liberty were a symptom, not a cause and until comment starts to look at the bigger picture we will just go around in circles.

    Yes, and this feeling is at the core of why I am a libertarian. It isn’t about precise tax rates or owning guns, but being able to volunteer without needing a two month check and things like that.

  13. douglas clark — on 27th January, 2011 at 11:51 am  

    Rumbold,

    When did you start reading the Daily Telegraph? Every day Police Constables are expected to stand up in court, in front of the world potentially and say, ‘I saw that douglas clark peeing up a lane’ or whatever. And I have a right to stand in the box and listen to this potentially very embarrassing stuff. (It’s OK, I didn’t actually get caught!)

    This secrecy arguement is getting a tad wearing. If the victim of a control order is not allowed to hear the evidence against them then we are simply losing the race to be more American than the Americans. (Gitmo).

  14. MaidMarian — on 27th January, 2011 at 12:22 pm  

    Rumbold – Exactly. But what is worse is that arguments about the freedom to volunteer/have family vist from abroad/run a sport club etc are being crowded out by arguments about terror.

    In truth, this will not always be an easy sell. My old gran used to live on what became a sink estate and the residents were begging the Council for CCTV. I think that some civil liberty arguments try to turn the clock back and ignore the effects of technology. All too often the good old days were not that good. Why should people not be able to choose the balance between having CCTV and a perceived anti-social behaviour? If someone is cheating school admissions, why should they not be investigated? Too often, some civil libertarians skate a bit close to saying the only thing some people have done wrong is get caught.

    It is almost as if 28 day detention, control orders and the like were standard practice. In reality these things affect the man on the street minimally at most. Indeed, it does rather beg the question that if the man on the street wants (say) 28 day detention why should a politician ignore him?

    The argument we need to be having is about regulating our relationships with each other – the rest flows from there. Looking at the incivility on the internet, I can’t say I’m an optimist.

  15. douglas clark — on 27th January, 2011 at 12:42 pm  

    MaidMarian,

    It is verging on incredible that you can say this in one post:

    Yes – I want the state to get off my back, but I want society to stop putting it there in the first place. Restrictions of civil liberty were a symptom, not a cause and until comment starts to look at the bigger picture we will just go around in circles.

    and then this:

    Indeed, it does rather beg the question that if the man on the street wants (say) 28 day detention why should a politician ignore him?

    There are excellent reasons for having a written constitution. Your ambivalence about what constitutes justice is one of them.

  16. Arif — on 27th January, 2011 at 12:53 pm  

    MaidMarian, did you hear Onora O’Neill’s discussion on “Trust”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00xnxl4

    Sounds like something up your street.

    A couple of the points:

    When we don’t know who to trust we can act in all sorts of (from other perspectives irrational) ways.

    When we don’t factor in the social costs of mistrust, we might rationally implement policies which increase the level of mistrust as well as other problems.

    In this context we are invited to trust the home secretary and a judge. To some people that is second nature, to others that is lunacy. O’Neill might ask how can we rationally decide whether we should place our trust in them if the bases and processes of their reasoning are kept secret?

    We are also invited to mistrust those who are subjected to control orders. Again, to some that is second nature, to others that is lunacy. O’Neill might say that at least we can talk to them about the key issues so we can use our own capacities to judge whether to trust them. However we would lack the data available to the home secretary so would not know the right questions to ask.

    There is no rational response to such a situation, just an increase in the gulf between those who trust one side and those who trust another.

    And who will this power be used on next – home secretaries and judges may be quite suspicious of environmentalists and human rights activists. Has anti-terror legislation ever been used against them? Is that question irrationally mistrustful?

  17. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 12:58 pm  

    MaidMarian,

    If someone is cheating school admissions, why should they not be investigated?

    Yes. But it is the means of investigation that is important.

    In real life, Poole council did not act properly in its response to a perception of cheating and it’s my impression the response was seen as rather disproportionate by ‘the man on the street’.

    There were insufficient checks and balances on the self-authorising and wide-ranging powers available under RIPA.

    “Prior to undertaking the covert surveillance, the council had not endeavoured to interview Ms Paton or made other inquiries within the locality in order to discover whether the family were ordinarily resident at Property 1.”

    The council surveilled the family for 22 days before asking them any questions!

    It is almost as if 28 day detention, control orders and the like were standard practice. In reality these things affect the man on the street minimally at most.

    It is true that the vast majority of people are unlikely to be affected whatsoever (and that is evidence that we don’t live in a police state). But I do not believe that just because N people are affected means that we should not have concerns.

    Indeed, it does rather beg the question that if the man on the street wants (say) 28 day detention why should a politician ignore him?

    The politician should not ignore the man; the politician should listen to the man’s concerns, explain why it is wrong, and vote against the wrong.

  18. MaidMarian — on 27th January, 2011 at 1:12 pm  

    douglas clark – There is no contradiction. If the man on the street holds a certain view, I have no right to just tell him he is wrong as if I have a monopoly on truth. That I don’t particularly agree with the man on the street’s view is a different question.

    Arif – ‘In this context we are invited to trust the home secretary and a judge.’

    I don’t think that is quite right. We are asked to trust the Home Secretary’s balancing about the presentation of evidence. The rest I agree with – I suggest a reading of Terror and Consent by Phillip Bobbit, by the way.

    ukliberty – I’m not making any value judgment here on individual practices on RIPA. The family, of course have judicial review to turn to if they feel laws have been broken. What I was saying is that it is not enough to take a view of civil liberty that asserts the only thing people do wrong is get caught.

    ‘It is true that the vast majority of people are unlikely to be affected whatsoever (and that is evidence that we don’t live in a police state). But I do not believe that just because N people are affected means that we should not have concerns.’

    I agree. My point was however that I think on occasion too simplistic a view is taken. Things like anti-social behaviour are real problems and the stark reality is that answers to them do not always sit comfortably with a civil liberty agenda. There has to be more to a debate about civil liberty than terror.

  19. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 1:22 pm  

    MaidMarian,

    What I was saying is that it is not enough to take a view of civil liberty that asserts the only thing people do wrong is get caught.

    I don’t recall ever hearing this view.

    My point was however that I think on occasion too simplistic a view is taken. Things like anti-social behaviour are real problems and the stark reality is that answers to them do not always sit comfortably with a civil liberty agenda. There has to be more to a debate about civil liberty than terror.

    I agree.

  20. MaidMarian — on 27th January, 2011 at 1:24 pm  

    ukliberty – On a further point, this is an interesting statement.

    ‘The politician should not ignore the man; the politician should listen to the man’s concerns, explain why it is wrong, and vote against the wrong.’

    But what if the politician sees the man’s point, or even agrees? Surely the world is not as black and white as that, unless you believe that the politician has the monopoly on truth.

  21. damon — on 27th January, 2011 at 1:33 pm  

    What are you if you were OK with control orders?
    Some kind of terrible right winger?
    I have never been entirely comfortable with the Shami Chakrabarti point of view.

    There was a march in Lurgan Northern Ireland on Saturday, protesting about a militant Irish Republican former IRA prisoner who is in jail for breaching his release order.
    http://www.releasemartincorey.com/

    His friends in the dissident terrorist movement have just left a bomb in North Belfast which has closed a main road and put people out of their homes since Tuesday afternoon.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12295324

    I don’t care if people from that movement are locked up because of security service intelligence.

  22. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 1:46 pm  

    damon,

    What are you if you were OK with control orders?
    Some kind of terrible right winger?

    No. You just don’t care for,

    1. the principle of a fair hearing

    2. the principle of not having your freedom infringed without a fair hearing

    And that might be because you’re ignorant of the issues, or it might be because you have more immediate and personal concerns, particularly in this age of austerity.

    I would say, though, that I don’t believe the “don’t cares” should trump the liberty of the individual.

  23. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 2:25 pm  

    MaidMarian,

    But what if the politician sees the man’s point, or even agrees? Surely the world is not as black and white as that, unless you believe that the politician has the monopoly on truth.

    I believe particular things (but not many things) are black and white in that sense – I believe that some issues of liberty ‘trump’ democracy (or the tyranny of the squeaky wheel, it sometimes feels like). Broadly speaking, any infringement on freedom must be justified or not done. The politician does not have a monopoly on truth but he ought to stand up for the ‘truth’. If he disagrees with me… well, that’s ‘tough’ on me, isn’t it? I don’t know what can or ought to be done about that, except try to help attitudes to change.

    (In genuine war-time or public emergency of course certain things may have to be temporarily suspended.)

  24. MaidMarian — on 27th January, 2011 at 2:28 pm  

    ukliberty – OK, take Phil Woolas – has his freedom of speech been sacrificed?

    As a matter of interest (not getting at you) can you give an example of one of these issues where democracy doesn’t matter?

  25. damon — on 27th January, 2011 at 2:37 pm  

    That’s where I’d disagree ukliberty @22.
    I think the people who have been forced to leave their homes for two nights in Belfast are more important than someone who is known to be part of that movement. Particularly a suspected terrorist who was thought to be involved in such a rotten event as the one I have linked to.
    It’s not as if they were not part of the wider movement which is integral to the terrorist operation.
    They are and they openly proclaim it.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/republicans-defy-police-with-lurgan-march-15062607.html

  26. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 2:54 pm  

    MaidMarian,

    ukliberty – OK, take Phil Woolas – has his freedom of speech been sacrificed?

    I took an interest in the case and tried to carefully read the Election Court’s judgement (I haven’t yet carefully read the judgement of the Appeal Court, which I understand disagreed with the lower court on one of the three counts, but upheld the rest). I was inclined to agree with the judgement; I believe that Woolas’s freedom of speech is infringed but I do not believe he should be free to utter falsehoods in such circumstances.

    Freedom of speech is not an absolute, in my view; the (mis)quoted example of shouting fire in a crowded theatre is often raised (I say misquoted because it’s about falsely shouting “fire” with malign intent, not merely shouting “fire”).

    As a matter of interest (not getting at you) can you give an example of one of these issues where democracy doesn’t matter?

    Prohibition of slavery.

    Prohibition of torture.

    Presumption of innocence.

    The right to challenge the lawfulness of one’s detention.

    Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali

  27. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 3:01 pm  

    damon, you say you “don’t care if people from that movement are locked up because of security service intelligence.”

    You are satisfied to rely on the word of the security services that any person they point the finger at is from that movement and deserves to be locked up.

    It seems to me that does make you rather illiberal and you may not care about that but I do not believe you not caring should trump that person’s right to a fair trial etc.

    If people are openly proclaiming they are terrorists then I have no problem with them being detained and investigated.

    I would add that precedent if nothing else shows that the authorities cannot always be trusted to get it right and that therefore it is good to have checks and balances in place (such as fair trials) that help to get it right.

  28. damon — on 27th January, 2011 at 3:51 pm  

    ukliberty, the guy who is being held without charge is a 60 year old militant republican who served 19 years for the killing of two police officers. So he has form.
    If he was just getting on with his life and minding his own business then he would not be in jail.
    His movement have killed recently so there are people’s lives at risk. For him it’s only his liberty.
    I think it’s OK to hold him. People who know far better than me think he’s dangerous.

  29. ukliberty — on 27th January, 2011 at 4:03 pm  

    damon, that particular person was released on licence, if I understand correctly, so there is no need for charge.

    An NIO spokesman said,
    “The secretary of state will not hesitate to revoke the licence of any prisoner who then later presents a risk to the safety of others or is likely to commit other offences.
    “Mr Corey has been informed of his right to make representation to the Independent Parole Commissioners in respect of this decision.
    “It will be for the Parole Commissioners to consider his case, and determine whether or not the revocation of his licence should be upheld.”

    I have no problem with that.

    I thought you were talking about people who have never been charged being detained without charge.

  30. earwicga — on 27th January, 2011 at 5:54 pm  

    I don’t care if people from that movement are locked up because of security service intelligence.

    It really would be better though that they were shot on sight.

  31. damon — on 28th January, 2011 at 2:05 am  

    The thing is ukliberty, that Martin Corey was released on licence on 26 June 1992. And has been recalled to prison just lately. So he was out for 18 years.
    It’s like he was a totally innocent person.

    I’m sure that would annoy people who side with the accused regardless of what they are known to have been up to.

    earwicga for example.

    It is odd that if these same people who were protesting in Lurgan on Saturday for the release of the well known militant republican had been EDL people, some people on the left would have been happy for them to be attacked violently. Without any evidence or court cases.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/multimedia/dynamic/00471/PMAKER_Martin_Corey_471552t.jpg

  32. Danyal — on 28th January, 2011 at 2:33 am  

    It’s because of sheep like damon that dictatorships can happen. Would love for him to be held without charge and then see how much he likes the law.

  33. Rumbold — on 28th January, 2011 at 8:58 am  

    Douglas:

    Every day Police Constables are expected to stand up in court, in front of the world potentially and say, ‘I saw that douglas clark peeing up a lane’ or whatever. And I have a right to stand in the box and listen to this potentially very embarrassing stuff. (It’s OK, I didn’t actually get caught!)

    Let’s say SIS get a tip off from an terrorist source in Yemen that a British Muslim from Hounslow is involved in terrorism? Clearly it would be difficult to prosecute, as your evidence at this point is a source who cannot be revealed or called to the witness stand. So that is why should need to be able to institute a system of surveillance, or, in extreme cases, some sort of control order.

  34. ukliberty — on 28th January, 2011 at 10:10 am  

    damon, if the authorities suspect a twice-convicted murderer of wrongdoing while on licence, I don’t think anyone reasonable would disagree that they ought to detain him and investigate. (I don’t know and can’t find the reason for his detention)

    FGS, if someone is suspected of a serious crime we don’t hang about much before arresting them – the presumption of innocence doesn’t mean you can’t arrest people suspected of wrongdoing.

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