UK 'made safe haven' by human rights rulings

Human rights rulings make the UK a "safe haven" for suspected foreign terrorists, the independent reviewer of anti-terror laws said today.









Lord Carlile said the rejection of the Government's argument that the risk of ill-treatment of foreign nationals deported on suspicion of being involved in terrorism needed to be balanced against the threat they posed if they were to remain, caused problems for the UK.



"The effect is to make the UK a safe haven for some individuals whose determination is to damage the UK and its citizens - hardly a satisfactory situation save for the purist," he said.









In his annual review of counter-terror legislation published today, Lord Carlile backed the Government's attempts to deport suspected foreign terrorists with assurances over their treatment once returned home.



But he warned that it was a "time-consuming process, requiring assurances that are public, credible and reliable".



Even once agreed, "there is no guarantee that the courts will accept them, given the relatively low legal threshold required for an individual to avoid deportation", he said.



The Government has argued that, where a person seeks to resist removal on the grounds of the risk of ill-treatment in their home country, this may be balanced against the threat they pose to national security if they remain.



It also argued that, if the person poses a risk to national security, this should affect the standard to which he must establish the risk of ill-treatment.



But both arguments were rejected by the European Court of Human Rights, Lord Carlile said.



"This leaves the UK reliant on DWA (deportation with assurances) arrangements."



Arrangements currently exist with Algeria, Jordan, Ethiopia, Libya and Lebanon, although the latter may need to be renegotiated "in the light of political developments there", he said.



Home Secretary Theresa May last week outlined plans for a stronger effort to deport foreign nationals involved in terrorist activity.







On control orders, Lord Carlile said the proposed replacement - terrorism prevention and investigation measures, or Tpims - "shares several characteristics with control orders (and would provide commensurate protection)".



"There is an acceptable balance of risk against other considerations," he said.



"It should be seen as adopting a new approach to public protection against terrorism."



Lord Carlile went on: "In stark terms, the potential cost of losing control orders now is that the UK would be more vulnerable to a successful terrorist attack."



But he added that, in future, at least two members of the Opposition should undergo developed vetting and should be given "detailed knowledge of the evidence base for control orders, generally and in relation to individuals".



"The purpose of this would be that, whilst respecting confidentiality and national security, they should be able to give informed advice to their shadow colleagues on the merits of the legislation," he said.



He added that control orders, or their replacement, should only be used when prosecution was not possible and added that it was "unlikely" that the use of intercept evidence in court would have led to the prosecution of any controlees since control orders were introduced in 2005.





Giving members of the Opposition detailed information about the evidence used to justify control orders "would take some of the political steam out of what at times has been a poorly informed debate", Lord Carlile said.









Human rights campaign group Amnesty International said it was "outrageous" to suggest that the UK had become a "safe haven for terrorists", adding that the UK has "some of the harshest counter-terrorism legislation in Europe".



Kate Allen, the charity's UK director, said: "Lord Carlile should remember that if someone is planning a terrorist atrocity in the UK, they can be tried and sent to prison for a long time.



"That is the best way to deal with people who want to murder and maim innocent people - not trying to ship them off, without a trial, to countries where they face a real risk of torture.



"The global ban on deporting people to countries where they're at risk of torture exists for a very good reason - to protect us all from the threat of being tortured."



She went on: "Signing unenforceable 'diplomatic assurances' with countries known to use torture already undermines the international ban on this abhorrent practice.



"The UK should be supporting global efforts to eradicate torture, not trying to get round international law."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones