UK judge strikes down control orders Joshua Pantesco at 11:56 AM ET
[JURIST] A UK High Court judge ruled Wednesday that control orders [JURIST report; BBC backgrounder] authorizing the electronic monitoring or house arrest of terror suspects where there is not enough evidence to prosecute or convict them violate Article 5 [text] of the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text], which protects against indefinite detentions. Mr. Justice Sullivan quashed the control orders of six suspects in his Wednesday ruling [text]. In April, he ruled against [JURIST report] the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 [text] which authorizes the control orders, saying that the Act violates the Human Rights Act 1998 [text] because the suspects held under control orders were not allowed a fair hearing. At the instance of the UK Home Office, the Court of Appeal will consider both rulings next Monday.
Mr. Justice Jeremy Sullivan has lately been a judicial thorn in the side of the Blair government on a range of rights-related issues. In addition to his two control orders rulings, he recently granted asylum [JURIST document] to nine Afghans convicted of hijacking a plane to the UK in 2002, allowing them to remain in the United Kingdom rather than be deported to Afghanistan. Prime Minister Tony Blair immediately assailed that ruling in public [JURIST report] as "an assault on common sense" and has since directed a review [JURIST report] of the judicial application in the UK of the European Convention on Human Rights through the Human Rights Act 1998. BBC News has more.
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