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UK Home Secretary announces revised legislation on terror detentions

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official biography] announced Tuesday a revised version of proposed anti-terror laws that place suspects under house arrest in an attempt to rush the legislation through Parliament. Under the Prevention of Terrorism Bill [text], terror suspects may be ordered under house arrest by the home secretary, but they are entitled to an automatic judicial review within a week. Government officials are hoping to pass the legislation before the current anti-terror legislation [text] passed after the Sept. 11 attacks expires on March 14. However, Clarke's proposals have been criticized by Conservatives and Liberal Democrats as granting too much power to the home office at the expense of courts. Clarke warned that the legislation was aimed at protecting British national security in the face of terror threats. A review of the controversial detention powers of the old legislation was also released Tuesday. Read the report [text, PDF] by Lord Carlile. Read a Home Office press release on the proposed law. The Guardian has more.

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