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UK parliament to consider new anti-terror legislation

[JURIST] Britain's House of Commons [official website] will vote Wednesday on legislation that will allow the UK to place terror suspects under house arrest without trial. Under the Prevention on Terrorism Bill [text], which was published Tuesday [JURIST report], terror suspects may be ordered under house arrest by Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official bio], but they are entitled to an automatic judicial review within a week. Despite opposition by Tories and Liberal Democrats, the measure is expected to pass in the Commons, but will face a tougher battle in the House of Lords [official website]. The opposition parties say that the "control orders" authorized by the new bill will be imposed on the authorization of the home secretary, not a judge, with an increased potential for miscarriages of justice. BBC News has more. Responding to the proposed legislation, Amnesty International [advocacy website] said that the proposed legislation "makes a mockery of human rights and the rule of law and contravenes the spirit, if not the letter, of the December 2004 Law Lords' judgment." A nine-judge panel of the House of Lords ruled in December [PDF decision text; JURIST report] that the indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects without charge violates the UK Human Rights Act. Amnesty also said that "The introduction of "house arrest" without charge or trial requires derogations from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) [PDF text] and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) [text]." Read Amnesty's press release.

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