UK government may revive proposal for 90-day terror detentions without charge

[JURIST Europe] UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] told a UK Commons committee Tuesday that he has not given up on the option of detaining suspected terrorists for up to 90 days without charge, and may introduce additional legislation to that effect either next year or in 2008. Suspects can be detained without charge for 14 days under existing UK law; a provision in an earlier version of the government's Terrorism Bill [text; JURIST news archive] allowed a 90-day detention period, but that was rejected by MPs and reduced to 28 days [JURIST report]. Once made into law, the 28-day period will become the longest detention period without charge authorized in western Europe. Stressing that he was only asserting his own personal viewpoint, Clarke also told members of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee [official website] he thought the traditional adversarial system was inadequate to secure justice, saying he would prefer the French model where magistrates directed police operations.

Conservative shadow Home Secretary, David Davis [official profile], agreed with Clarke that putting the longer detention period back on the table now would only create more legislative division. The Independent has more.

Angela Onikepe is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

 

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