The set of assumptions about the necessity of terrorism laws needs to be confronted if we are not to drift further into an authoritarian state. Terrorism is a particularly serious form of criminal conduct that should be dealt with by mainstream law, the provisions of which are entirely robust enough to catch killers, bombers and conspirators. The police need to use surveillance, informers and forensic expertise to proceed against these wrongdoers, with all evidence (including intercept material) being made available to courts if required. Police powers include arrest, but only when close to a charge - it is about catching real suspects, not fishing among the potentially culpable.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
28 days is still too long
Conor Gearty (Director of LSE's Human Rights Centre) writes that Parliament should reject even a 28-day period of detention without charge in terrorism cases: