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Issue: 05 August 2008 email us on
Controversial legislation to extend pre- the House of Lords debating the new Parliament and the judiciary, which would
charge detentions to 42 days risks terrorism law after parliament returns be quite inappropriate.”
undermining the independence of the from its summer recess in October. “Far from being a system of checks and
judiciary and threatens the chances that The extension of pre-charge detentions balances, this is a recipe for confusion
terrorist suspects will receive unfair trials, was narrowly passed by 9 votes in the that places on parliament tasks that it
a House of Lords committee warned this 646-seat House of Commons, but it is cannot ffectively fulfill and arguably risks
month. expected to be fiercely opposed in the undermining the rights of fair trial for the
The all-party Lords constitution upper parliamentary chamber. individuals concerned,” it said.
committee, which includes former lord Last month, former head of Britain’s MI5 In response to the report, the
chief justice Lord Woolf and the former security service Lady Manningham Buller Conservative’s shadow home secretary
attorney-general Lord Morris, said that warned that the new law was unprincipled Dominic Grieve called on the government
the new law was muddled and gave and unworkable. to “abandon” the measure and concentrate
parliament a “quasi-judicial” role to debate Under the legislation, MPs and peers on things that would make the UK “safer”,
each use of the detention powers. would vote on whether to grant a such as allowing the use of intercept
The concession by the government to let temporary “reserve power” for the home evidence in terror trials.
MPs vote on whether to allow extensions secretary, allowing courts to authorize Liberal Democrat home affairs
in the pre-charge time limit beyond the detention for up to 42 days if there was an spokesman David Howarth also called
existing 28 would create a “recipe for operational need. for the legislation to be dropped, saying
confusion”, rather than a “system of The committee said the government’s the proposal had “everything to do with
checks and balances,” the committee desire to increase democratic politics and nothing at all to do with the
said in a new report. accountability was “understandable”, but struggle against terrorism.”
The report comes ahead of peers in warned it risked “conflating the roles of
British citizenship Treat Muslims better, Christian, Muslim leaders
lessons for young Muslims Britain told by UN in interfaith dialogue
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