UK plans to instruct judges on anti-terror deportations, bars radical cleric

[JURIST] Lord Charles Falconer [official profile], Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor in Tony Blair’s Labour government, said Friday in an interview [recorded audio] with BBC Radio that judges could be given explicit legislative guidance [BBC report] on how to interpret the UK's Human Rights Act in order to guarantee that efforts to deport foreign nationals considered a threat to national security will not be blocked by judges. His comments cam after police detained 10 people [JURIST report] on Thursday, including Abu Qatada, the alleged spiritual leader of al Qaeda in Europe, and vowed to deport them. Judges have disrupted past government efforts to deport foreign nationals saying that the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text], adopted in Britain’s 1998 Human Rights Act [text], guarantees deportees freedom from torture. Falconer said Friday that the "rights of the individual deportee [must be weighed] against the risks of national security." Reuters has more. The Guardian has local coverage.

Also on Friday, Britain blocked radical Islamist Omar Bakri Mohammed [BBC profile], a UK resident for 20 years, from re-entering the country, saying his presence was no longer "conducive to the public good." Earlier this week, Bakri fled to Lebanon [JURIST report] after an investigation was opened into his alleged praise of the London bombers and an alleged statement that Bakri would not reveal future information he learned about plans for future terrorist attacks. Bakri was detained by Lebanese police [JURIST report] Thursday for undisclosed reasons, but was released from custody Friday. BBC News has more.

 

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