What rights should terrorism suspects enjoy?

June 10, 2009

The Law Lords have ruled against the government over the sensitive issue of whether people accused of a crime should have the right to hear the evidence against them.

Three terrorism suspects had claimed it was against their rights to be subject to control orders — which effectively impose a form of house arrest on them — on the basis of secret evidence they have been unable to challenge or even hear.

The government says control orders are a means of limiting the risk it believes are posed by suspects it can neither prosecute not deport.    

Rights groups say Britain is riding roughshod over one of its most cherished legal principles by not allowing defendants to hear the evidence against them.

One of the Law Lords, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the senior Law Lord on the case, said: “A trial procedure can never be considered fair if a party to it is kept in ignorance of the case against him.

“If the wider public are to have confidence in the justice system, they need to be able to see that justice is done rather than being asked to take it on trust.

Do you agree? Or are the stakes post 9/11 just too high to cling to what some may consider antiquated notions of fair play and justice?


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Antiquated notions of fair play and justice? How could anyone say basic human rights were antiquated.. that’s one of the strangest comments I have read recently.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

This is what happens when you have politicians with their heads stuck so far up their exhaust pipes they can’t see daylight.

British terror suspects should be treated exactly like any other suspect in a criminal case and if there is insufficient evidence to keep them locked up they should be placed under close surveillance.

Foreign suspects should be sent back to the country they came from. No ifs, ands, buts or lily-livered squeals about their “rights”. Just OUT.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

It is too often the case these days, that our laws are based more on the whims of politicians, than they are based on the very principles which they should uphold…Right & Wrong.
An accusation is nothing more than an accusation, without clear & transparent proof. Denying a human being the right to respond is draconian at best, but at the worst it is simply Wrong.

Posted by Mr.Private | Report as abusive