Court finds human rights violation under UK counter-terrorism legislation

ECHR recognizes that UK counter-terrorism laws have subsequently been amended.

A European court has ruled that U.K. border officials violated Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights — which guarantees citizens the right to respect for private and family life — when they stopped a French national at a British airport in 2011 on her return from visiting her husband in a French prison where he was serving time for terrorism offences.

Ruling in the case of Beghal vs. United Kingdom Thursday, European Court of Human Rights judges found unanimously that counter-terrorism legislation at the time "had not been sufficiently circumscribed."
Sylvie Beghal, who lives in Leicester in the English Midlands, alleged that border officials breached a series of human rights under Schedule 7 of the counter-terrorism legislation when they stopped and questioned her at East Midlands Airport after she had visited her husband in jail in France.

According to a press release, the judges found that there had been an "interference" with Beghal's human rights under Article 8, ruling that "at the time the applicant had been stopped, the Schedule 7 powers had not been "in accordance with the law," noting that "legislation in force at that time had not been sufficiently circumscribed nor were there adequate legal safeguards against abuse."
"In particular, people could be subjected to examination for up to nine hours and compelled to answer questions without being formally detained or having access to a lawyer. Furthermore, the possibility to seek judicial review of the exercise of the Schedule 7 powers was limited because the border official was not obliged to show "reasonable suspicion," the statement reads.

The court acknowledged that in its ruling it did not take into account subsequent changes to the law, introduced in 2014, requiring border officials to take a person into detention if they wish to examine him or her for longer than an hour, to only commence questioning after the arrival of a solicitor, and to release those being questioned after six hours.
Beghal was not awarded damages, as the court considered the finding of a violation a sufficient outcome.



Popular posts from this blog

How a cyber attack hampered Hong Kong protesters

‘Not Hospital, Al-Shifa is Hamas Hideout & HQ in Gaza’: Israel Releases ‘Terrorists’ Confessions’ | Exclusive

Former FARC guerrilla, Colombian cop pose naked together to promote peace deal