Law on Terror

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Brief : 191325 Delivery Date : 7/12/2006 Title: Counter Terrorism and Civil Liberties Brief Description a) Anti terror legislative tools (in Britain) and their compatibility with the national and international Human Rights regimes b) Rights and duties of the government in relation to protecting citizens as well as the fundamental human rights c) Is it really justifiable to compromise on the core democratic values while preventing potential terror threats? STANDARD DISSERTATION OUTLINE REQUESTED. DISSERTATION OUTLINE 1. Proposed Dissertation Title “Human Rights and the Law on Terror” or simply “The Law on Terror” (“Law on Terror” chimes neatly and appositely in this context with popular phrase “The War on Terror”) 2. Outline Research Objectives and Methodology The interface between counter-terror laws and the nation and international human rights matrices is of great contemporary importance and the subject of a huge amount of recent comment and analysis. As a consequence it is argued that that the internet should be utilised as the predominant information resource for this dissertation. The sheer scope and detail of information readily available on the internet relating to the law on terrorism is unrivalled by any traditional library. That said it is prudent to treat internet sources with a healthy caution, in particular in the technical field of the relationship between human rights and criminal law. Internet sources are of variable reliability material should be evaluated for credibility before used. It is a good policy to seek out secondary corroborative sources and follow up cited footnotes. Research in this field will also be facilitated by the use of a law library. The newspaper and periodical sections will offer contemporary analysis and other electronic data gateways and engines such as Westlaw UK, Lexis-Nexis[1] and Lawtel[2] will provide other pathways to information gathering. For example a AOL Google-powered search of the internet using the phrase “law on terrorism and human rights” returned 42,900 hits on United Kingdom websites and 1.06 million hits worldwide. Only a fraction of these will ultimately prove useful but such a search is a good starting point to identify research resources and options. The top rated UK hits include: “Terrorism v human rights: Where do you draw the line?”: https://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,27969-2091830,00.html; “Terrorism”: https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/issues/2-terrorism/index.shtml; “Terrorism & Human Rights”: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications_media/speeches/2006/sp191006.htm “Q&A: Terrorism laws”: https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4715478.stm These hits were all drawn from the first page of hits and offer a useful example of the breadth of material available, with the first hit hosted by the Times newspaper, the second by the Liberty, the civil liberties pressure group, the third being a speech by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips, and the fourth provided by the BBC. Care must be taken to ensure that all resources utilised must advance at least one of the three identified research priorities of this work, namely: a) Anti terror legislative tools (in Britain) and their compatibility with the national and international Human Rights regimes b) Rights and duties of the government in relation to protecting citizens as well as the fundamental human rights c) Is it really justifiable to compromise on the core democratic values while preventing potential terror threats? 3. Contents (Draft) 1.Title Page 2. Contents Page 3. Summary and acknowledgements (250-450 words)[3] 4. Introduction, including political context and socio-legal definitions of key concepts: eg human rights[4] and terrorism[5]. (500-750 words) 5. Descriptive discussion of UK anti-terror framework. This will include, inter alia, comment on: the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005[6]; the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001[7]; the Terrorism Act 2000. (800-1200 words) 6. Critical analysis of the UK law on terror and points of conflict and tension with human rights law, national and international.[8] This will include in particular, comment on the key issues raised by the Human Rights Act 1998[9] and European Convention of Human Rights (1950)[10]. This will also include consideration of recent case law directly on point such as SSHD v JJ & Ors[11] regarding control orders and the right a fair trial under Article 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits indefinite detention without trial.[12] Another important case is A (FC) and others (FC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2004)[13], where it was held that indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects is incompatible with the 1998 Human Rights Act and in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights. See also: Chahal v United Kingdom (1996)[14] which saw an individual successfully claim a breach of his human rights under Articles 3 and 5 of the European Convention. (2000 words) 7.Socio-legal analysis of the delicate balance to be struck between the protection of society and the individual from acts of terrorism and the preservation of human rights. Precis: carrying the fundamental message that terrorism is a serious threat to the state and society, but to mitigate human rights would be to give terror groups a palpable victory. The ultimate challenge for human rights law is that it must be applied blindly and with an even hand whether the subject is a potential victim or an actual protagonist of an offence of terrorism. This task is all the more difficult in the aftermath of a terror attack, but it is all the more important in that context. Respect for human rights must be viewed as an indispensable component of the United Kingdom’s democratic society, not as a concession to do-gooders or a disposable luxury in times of emergency, strife or pressure. (2000 words) 8.Analysis of the subjugation of democracy in the face of terror. (2000 words) Precis: It would certainly be easier, at least from the perspective of the state, to police the threat posed by terrorism in such a way as to exclude the concept of human rights entirely, by imposing civil restrictions, and unlimited powers of investigation, detention and punishment. That said, it is submitted that just because such a policy would be advantageous from the point of view of law enforcement, it most definitely is not necessarily the most appropriate tack to take for the good of society. To respond by introducing the totalitarian policy of a police state would be to strike at the very heart of the democracy that terrorism itself is designed to attack. In the aftermath of terror outrages such as 9/11 or 7/7 there is a strong temptation to impose draconian laws. However, mistakes will occur. Grave injustices committed by the state will follow atrocities committed by terror groups and the moral authority of society will be forfeit. 9.Personal Commentary (1000 words) 10. Conclusions (500 words) 11. Endnotes (if used) 12. Bibliography 4. Key References A great many references are available. A list of core references is provided below: Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005: https://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/20050002.htm Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001: https://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2001/20010024.htm Human Rights Act 1998: https://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1998/19980042.htm European Convention of Human Rights (1950): https://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm Human Rights Watch World Reports, see eg: https://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/us.html. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), United Nations General Assembly: https://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html 5. Supervisor or Proposed Supervisor Details To be supplied by client. THE END WORD COUNT : 1251 (excluding footnotes) BIBLIOGRAPHY Carlos Nino, The Ethics of Human Rights, (1993), Clarendon Press, Oxford, p.10. European Convention of Human Rights (1950): https://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005: https://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/20050002.htm Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001: https://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2001/20010024.htm Terrorism Act 2000: https://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts2000/00011--b.htm Human Rights Act 1998: https://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1998/19980042.htm Human Rights Watch World Reports, see eg: https://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/us.html. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), United Nations General Assembly: https://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html Lexis-Nexis Lawtel Westlaw UK Cases as footnoted, drawn from original law reports. 1

Footnotes

[1] Lexis-Nexis, is a well-established full-text legal database based in the United States, but it has carried extensive British and Commonwealth data since 1980 and therefore it can usefully be exploited in this study in providing the law on terrorism and legal context on human rights issues. The Nexis section carries a vast body of non-legal data including news wires, newspapers and periodicals in a broad range of subjects and this would be useful in deriving analysis on the law on terrorism and civil liberties issues from an eclectic variety of sources. [2] See for links and comment: https://ials.sas.ac.uk/library/eservice/westlaw.htm [3] Guidelines only, based on a standard dissertation length of 10,000 words. [4] See eg: Human rights may be conceptualised as a matrix of inalienable universal rights possessed by all human beings by simple virtue of their humanity. Such rights are enjoyed regardless of a person’s defining characteristics, such as ethnicity, gender or nationality, and are founded on base principles of justice within society (researcher’s own definition). For further comment see: See inter alia: Carlos Nino, The Ethics of Human Rights, (1993), Clarendon Press, Oxford, p.10. [5] Legal definition provided by the Terrorism Act 2000: https://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts2000/00011--b.htm [6] https://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/20050002.htm. [7] https://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2001/20010024.htm. [8] Could be split into two separate chapters national/international. [9] https://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1998/19980042.htm. [10] https://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm. [11] [2006] EWCA Civ 1141. [12] Travis, Alan, ‘Reid's curfew orders on six terror suspects are illegal, say judges,’ The Guardian, August 2 2006. [13] [2004] UKHL 56. [14] 22414/93 [1996] ECHR 54 (15 November 1996).
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