05-29-2007, 04:09 PM
Direct Action Resistance Fighter
Joined: Aug 2006
Tougher Control Orders 'needed'
Quote:Courts should allow tougher measures to be imposed under control orders, the UK terror laws watchdog Lord Carlile says.
Judges should accept police have "far more understanding" of what is needed to control a terror suspect, he said.
His comments come after three terror suspects who were under control orders absconded last week.
He also warned that ministers would lose a "scarring clash" with courts if they attempted to opt out of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Lord Carlile said, in a speech to a counter-terrorism conference, that the three people who absconded last week showed the need "for more demanding controls".
"In my view, the courts, should and will now be driven by recent events to re-examine their approach to the conditions and restrictions forming part of control orders," he said.
Lord Carlile, who was appointed by the government to review terrorism legislation, said: "Once the accuracy of the designation of a controlee as a terrorist suspect has been verified by the court, as a general rule judges should recognise that officials and the police have far more understanding of the restrictions required to effect a control order.
He said they should then "intervene only where the boundaries of proportionality manifestly have been crossed".
"I expect the judges to accept this view."
He said that Britain should not consider opting out of the European Convention on Human Rights - as Home Secretary John Reid said he might consider if it was necessary to deal with terrorist suspects.
"My comment to ministers, is that derogation would lead to extremely difficult parliamentary problems," Lord Carlile told the conference.
"It would lead to lengthy and testy litigation, and an unwelcome and scarring clash with the senior judiciary which, on balance, the judiciary would be likely to win.
"Most important, derogation is actually entirely unnecessary."
Instead he called for "statutory clarity" on what are appropriate and effective controls.
Mr Reid described control orders as being "far from the best option" to tackle terrorism, saying they could not stop determined suspects absconding.
He also blamed political opponents and judges for stopping the use of tougher measures against terror suspects.
He is to outline tougher measures - which could form the basis of a new counter-terrorism bill - before he steps down at the end of June.
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