Brits lose another lawfare case to the terrorist rights crowd
The Government's terror strategy was dealt a blow this morning when law lords ruled that the controversial control order regime must be watered down.All in all, it was a good day for terrorist rights in the UK. It is hard for me to see a material difference between the two detentions for the suspects, but it does double the amount of time the government has to keep more people watching them making it much easier for them to slip the surveillance and do their mischief. It appears the law lords do not put public safety ahead of their terrorist rights agenda.
Britain's most senior judges ruled that the most draconian power - an 18-hour home curfew - was in breach of the human right to liberty. They held that a 12-hour curfew was acceptable.
The human rights group Liberty, which was a party in the crucial case, said it was a "significant blow" to the controversial measures.
Indefinite control orders, imposed on foreign terror suspects by the Home Secretary, are one of the Government's key anti-terror measures.
Control orders impose restrictions currently including curfews and bans on internet access and unauthorised visitors.
The orders were introduced two years ago after the House of Lords held that the previous system for dealing with foreign suspects - keeping them detained in prison until deportation - breached their human rights.
The cases considered by the law lords involved 10 terror suspects placed under orders, including at least two who are on the run.
In the High Court and the Court of Appeal they successfully argued that the measures violated their right to liberty and a fair trial.
The lords also held that control orders must be subject to "civil fair trial procedure", which has been breached in some cases by the "special advocate procedure". This procedure allows the Government to release sensitive information to terror suspects' security-screened lawyers, on the condition that this information is not passed on to the suspect.