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UK terrorism derogation to be challenged in Europe human rights court

[JURIST] Lawyers representing UK terror suspects detained by authorities in Broadmoor high security hospital and Belmarsh prison have filed a case with the European Court of Human Rights [official website], arguing that Britain's derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights [official PDF text], which normally prohibits the indefinite detention of individuals, is invalid as no 'threat to the life of the nation' actually exists. The challenge comes just a few weeks after UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] announced plans to detain terrorism suspects under house arrest [JURIST report], instead of in jail. Should the ECHR agree with the suspects' contention, the government would be required to bring criminal charges against any individuals it wished to detain, as well as provide standard constitutional protections of due process and right to counsel. The Guardian has local coverage.

In related news, an attempt by the Home Secretary to have the house arrest of one terror detainee revoked and have him returned to prison was rejected Monday by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission [official website], which ruled that allegations that the suspect entertained two men thought to have ties to terrorist organizations in November of 2004 had not been proved "to the necessary standard”, and that the individual would not be returned to jail. The UK Press Association has local coverage.

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