£8m legal bill for terror control orders
The Government has run up a legal bill of more than £8 million trying to maintain its controversial control order regime, it was revealed today.
Details of the costs were released by the Home Office after it suffered a series of defeats in the courts by terror suspects who claimed the detention arrangements breached their human rights.
But Home Secretary Alan Johnson insisted the system remained an "important tool" to protect the public from terrorism.
And, in a separate report, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, Lord Carlile, said that abandoning the regime entirely would have a "damaging effect on national security".
Information about spending on control orders was disclosed by the department in a memo to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee assessing their effectiveness.
It said the system had cost the Home Office some £10.8 million between April 2006 and August 2009. This included staff and administrative costs as well as legal expenses.
The memo went on: "The extensive internal and judicial scrutiny relating to control orders to ensure that they remain fair and justified, including the automatic review of all control orders by the High Court and the ongoing litigation on the control order regime, means that there are inevitably significant legal costs associated with the process (over £8 million of the £10.8 million total)."
The document admitted that was a "significant sum of money", and the Government was attempting to "minimise the costs".
"But viable alternatives to control orders, such as surveillance, would be considerably more expensive," it added.
"The reality is that without control orders there would be an unquantifiable increased risk to the public from controlled individuals."
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Jason Derulo falling over in epic fashion, the event's most talked about moment, wasn't what it seemed
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...