[JURIST] UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official profile] called on the US Saturday to close down Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] at an International Bar Association event [event information] in Chicago. While acknowledging that the September 11 attacks [JURIST news archive] required a response to terrorism, he stressed that key principles of democracy and the rule of law had to be upheld in the process:
I am not embarrassed to repeat here my views on Guantanamo Bay which are well known; that it is unacceptable and that it is time that it should be closed; that it has become a symbol of injustice, a recruiting agent for terrorists. It is a symbol which the long American tradition of justice and liberty deserves to see removed at the earliest moment.In May US officials dismissed [JURIST report] a similar call [JURIST report] from Goldsmith made during a UK policy address, saying that the US was working to release detainees who no longer pose a threat and insisting that the prison was a critical part of the war on terror.
Goldsmith's speech comes days after UK Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer [official profile; JURIST news archive] blasted [JURIST report] the US for denying Guantanamo Bay detainees adequate access to the judicial system in a speech in Sydney, Australia. Falconer called the detention of terrorist suspects in Guantanamo a "shocking affront to the principles of democracy." ePolitix has more.