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UK AG breaks with Blair on terror detention limit extension

[JURIST] UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official website; Guardian profile] spoke out Monday against a proposal by Prime Minister Tony Blair [JURIST news archive] to extend the 28-day limit on police detentions of terrorism suspects who have not been charged. Goldsmith, the government's chief legal adviser, said during a media briefing that he had not seen evidence to justify increasing the limit to 90 days. Blair last week renewed his support for the extension [press briefing summary], which last year was rejected by the House of Commons [JURIST report] in favor of a 28-day limit now contained in the Terrorism Act of 2006 [text; Home Office backgrounder].

The Blair government floated the possibility of reviving the longer limit [JURIST report] earlier this year, and the proposal gained momentum some two weeks ago after London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair advocated an extension of the detention limit in a speech this month. Independent anti-terror law reviewer Lord Carlile has warned lawmakers against "rushing" to make the change [JURIST reports]. AP has more. The Guardian has local coverage.

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