Charles Clarke announced today his response to the recent Law Lords ruling that indefinite detention of foreign nationals who are suspected terrorists without trial contravened the ECHR.
Instead of detaining them in jail, Clarke has decided to allow indefinite detention of British resident, regardless of nationality and without trial, in their own homes:
Under the new powers, the government would no longer be able to jail suspects without charge, but could forbid them from meeting certain people, impose curfews or electronic tagging on them or confine them to house arrest.
Unlike the previous measures, which were based on immigration law and applied only to foreigners, the new measures could be used against British nationals. The government would not have to prove suspects had committed a crime.
"It's still total loss of liberty, and total loss of liberty without due process is exactly what the Law Lords ruled is wrong," Natalie Garcia, lawyer for two detainees, told Reuters.
"It used to be foreigners. It can be absolutely anyone now. You can be one day, normal citizen minding your own business, next day banged up in your home unable to go out in the garden."(Emphasis added)
And who would decide which people get subjected to this treatment? Charles Clark (or any future Home Secretary):
The proposed changes would mean the home secretary could order British citizens to be held under house arrest without putting them on trial.Thus the
If this comes to pass, how long will it be before the govt proposes to extend these powers to those suspect of any serious crime rather than terrorism? The excuse being we can't afford to allow (suspected) paedophiles, murderers, rapists, organised criminals, fox hunters, or ID card dodgers to roam freely...