Nine foreign terrorist suspects being held indefinitely without charge in Britain challenged the UK's Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act in the House of Lords Monday. The suspects, who have been held for up to three years, say that it is illegal under European human rights standards for the British government to hold them without charge when Britain's own nationals cannot be treated in this fashion.
The British government enacted the anti-terror law following the September 11th attacks in the United States. The act allows the home secretary to designate a foreign national as a threat to national security and imprison him or her without trial. The Home Office issued a statement earlier today saying the measure was a "necessary and proportionate response to the threat we continue to face". Read the full Home Office statement here. Scholars are calling this case one of the most important constitutional law cases ever to come before the nine law lords. BBC has more information on detainees in Britain here. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on the case and BBC News has more.