Human rights roundup: Koran burning, Diplomatic assurances and the LSC saga continues

14 September 2010 by

Terry Jones- book burning called off

Some of this week’s human rights news, in bite-size form. The full list of our external links can be found on the right sidebar or here:

13 Sep | Terrorist suspect loses “deportations with assurances” appeal – Press Association: A suspected terrorist (‘XX’) with links to the failed July 21 bombings in London will be deported to Ethiopia in the interests of national security, a court has ruled. The Home Office have said this is a victory for their “deportation with assurances” policy which allows individuals who could not ordinarily be deported – due to risk of human rights violations – being returned with diplomatic agreement that they will not face danger (see here for an explanation). The ruling is not yet available but we will comment on it when it is. The Home Office will be relieved that this is not another case of being unable to deport a suspected terrorist due to human rights consideration (see this post).

13 Sep | Campaign to reform the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act – Nacro: Nacro, an organisation which seeks to reduce crime, have launched Change the Record, a campaign to reform the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. They argue that it discriminates against ex-offenders and is compounded by Criminal Record Bureau checks which are often used unlawfully to expose spent crimes or non-disclosure where people have been too worried to admit their past. The focus of the campaign, which sounds sensible given that, according to Nacro, a quarter of the adult population have unspent criminal convictions, is on getting people back into work.

12 Sep | Brilliant Lord Bingham was the greatest judge of my time – guardian.co.uk: Afua Hirsch explains why Lord Bingham was the greatest judge. We have covered his death here, here and here.

12 Sep | Control orders ‘best option available’ in terror fight – The Independent: Control orders, while flawed and of only limited effectiveness, “perform an important function imperfectly” and not all terrorist threats can be tackled in the courts, the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) have said. The Joint Committee on Human Rights disagree, and have called for the scheme to be discontinued (see our post). The scheme has also been unpopular in the courts. There have only been 50 control orders – which restrict individuals’ liberty if they are suspected of terrorism – since the scheme began in 2005. Have they been worth the amount of time and money which has been spent justify them?

12 Sep | Terry Jones, Koran Burning and Hate Speech – Inforrm’s Blog: An interesting discussion of what would happen in the UK if someone was looking to burn a Koran in public, as was threatened in the US (and now has been called off, thankfully). In the UK, free speech rights are weaker than in the US. According to Inforrm, “in England, “Pastor” Jones would have been arrested or otherwise restricted from his provocative conduct. We believe that this would have been the right approach.”

8 Sep | Extradition review terms of reference – Home Office: The Home Office has published the terms of reference for the review of extradition law which we posted about last week. It will review the controversial extradition treaty with the US, as well as European Arrest Warrants, but will not report until late summer 2011.

8 Sep | LSC heeds judge’s warning by reversing contract award decision – The Law Gazette: The ongoing saga of the potentially botched Legal Services Commission tender. This particular case was of just one decision, which a High Court Judge called a “dreadful” one (see our post). The whole tender is being judicially reviewed by the Law Society at the moment and the new contract decisions have been delayed in the meantime.

And… our own recent posts:

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