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UK parliament rights panel skeptical of extending pre-charge terror detention

[JURIST] The UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights [official website] rejected the British government's proposal for an extension of pre-charge detention for terror suspects, saying in a report [PDF text] published Monday that it is "not convinced of the need" of extending the current 28-day limit. The Committee criticized the former Blair government's "apparent desire to be seen to do something about terrorism by rushing hastily prepared legislation through Parliament" and praised new Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government for indicating that "there will be no 'rush to legislate'" after the attempted car bomb attacks [JURIST report] in the UK in June.

The report also raises concerns over the controversial use of control orders [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], which have been criticized as a violation of personal liberty. The committee also recommended the construction of a new terror detention facility after finding the current facility to be "plainly inadequate." Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown [official website] told parliament that the 28-day pre-charge detention should be extended [JURIST report] to allow police more time to question detained terror suspects. Brown recommended a proposal that would allow the extension of the 28-day limit after a declared state of emergency, and another alternative that would allow judges to authorize weekly extensions for up to 56 days subject to parliamentary notification. AP has more.

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