February

UK: Legal Opinion on the Prevention of Terrorism Bill by Ben Emmerson QC (Matrix Chambers): "I am asked to advise on the compatibility of the provisions of the new Prevention of Terrorism Bill with the requirements of domestic and international human rights law. For the reasons set out...it is my view that the entire scheme established under the Bill as it stands is incompatible with the United Kingdom’s international obligations, and would be vulnerable to challenge in the courts."

"A War on Terror or a War on Justice? Terrorism, War and the Rule of Law" by Geoffrey Bindman. Presented at London South Bank University, Tuesday 8 February 2005

UK: Report of the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights: Prevention of Terrorism Bill - preliminary report (pdf) See also: Prevention of Terrorism Bill - full-text (pdf) introducing "control orders" (including "house arrest") on "suspected" people for "terrorist-related" activities and Explanatory Notes (link).

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 24 February 2005: Press release (pdf)

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 24 February 2005. The main agenda includes the Council objection to the "naming of shaming" of member states in the Commission's report on Joint Investigation Teams. The meeting will also discuss Council Conclusions on biometric data in visas and residence permits - these confirm Statewatch's story that a visa chip in passport creates a "collision problem" so the Council is now seeking to advance the inclusion of biometrics in the Visa Information System to 2006.

1. JHA "B" Point agenda
2. JHA "A" Point agenda (adopted without discussion)
3. Background Note (French)
4  Council objects to Commission report which "names and shames" governments (6047/2/05)
5. Council conclusions on biometric data in visas and residence permits (6492/05)
6. EU biometric visa policy unworkable

EU: European Arrest Warrant, report from the European Commission on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States (pdf) and Annex (pdf) Statewatch analysis

UK: Prevention of Terrorism Bill - full-text (pdf) introducing "control orders" (including "house arrest") on "suspected" people for "terrorist-related" activities and Explanatory Notes (link). It is intended to rush this through parliament in just 14 days. The Home Office has also produced four short briefing papers intended to emphasise the need for this new law:

Paper One: International terrorism: The threat
Paper Two: International terrorism: The government's strategy
Paper Three: International terrorism: Reconciling liberty and security - the government's strategy to reduce the threat
Paper Four: International terrorism: Protect and prepare

Judicial confirmation does not constitute a fair trial (Liberty, link) Liberty Briefing on control orders (pdf)
Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, Part IV, Section 28 - Review February 2004 by Lord Carlile (pdf)

Spain-Morocco: Appeal highlights the human rights implications of the transfer of responsibility for immigration controls to third countries

EU: Data Protection and RFIDs The EU's Article 29 Working Party is concerned that some applications may "violate human dignity as well as data protection rights"

"Room to roam - England's Irish Travellers", a report of research by Dr Colm Power."This brief historical perspective outlines recent Irish Traveller migration to Britain and explains the social, legal and administrative contexts that impact on Travellers’ lives underlining the necessity for this research report. Irish Travellers refer to themselves as ‘Pavees’ or ‘Minceir’. They are an indigenous nomadic minority group in Ireland (south and north) and Britain."

France: Passengers to face trial for preventing a violent deportation

Italy: Play on prison life to be staged in Rome. The prisoners' cultural association Papillon which operates from Rebibbia prison in Rome has organised the staging of a play called La Gabbia. Il carcere come metafora della violenza quotidiana (The Cage. Prison as a metaphor of everyday violence) in Rome on 21 March 2005 in the Vittoria theatre. The play was written by a former inmate, Giulio Salierno, and will be performed by actors including former inmates, with the support of the Rome city council and Libera, an association concerned with prisoners' rights. It is the first step in a project for the establishment of a pilot multi-purpose social centre to be managed entirely by prisoners and former prisoners. Leaflet (pdf)

UK: The new "anti-terror" laws: Taking Liberties, public meeting, 7-9pm Wednesday 2nd March 2005, Committee Room 10, House of Commons, Westminster. Hosted by Jim Dobbin MP. Speakers include Gareth Peirce, solicitor; Gillian Slovo, South-African born novelist; James Welsh, Legal Director of Liberty; Simon Hughes MP; Richard Harvey, Chair of Haldane Society; Prof. Paddy Hillyard, Queens University Belfast, author of the book “Suspect Communities – People’s Experience of the Prevention of Terrorism Acts in Britain”, Saghir Hussein, lawyer and Stop Political Terror. Leaflet (pdf)

UK: Britain: A Failed State, public meeting with David Shayler, Paul Feldman & Corinna Lotz. 6pm Thursday February 24 Polis Seminars at London Metropolitan University, Staff Common Room, Ladbroke House, Highbury Grove, N5. Leaflet (pdf)

UK: Victory for McLibel 2 against UK Government in European Court of Human Rights - press statement from the McLibel campaign, ECHR press release and full-text of the judgment

EU: Council objects to Commission report which "names and shames" governments: "the habit has been not to "name and shame"" governments which fail to implement decisions correctly (Presidency, Council of the European Union)

UN: "A more secure world: our shared responsibility" Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (full-text, pdf)

UK: Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill - as amended by 8 February 2005

UK: Inquiries Bill: Amnesty International calls for: "The government must withdraw the Inquiries Bill" (link) Full-text of the Inquiries Bill (pdf) Explanatory Notes (link) Amendments proposed as at 18.1.05 (link)

Spain: Update: Order on the treatment of migrant minors as adults repealed

EU: A small victory for openness: The European Commission has finally made available a full list of its expert groups (2004) (pdf) and a list of "Joint entities resulting from international agreements" (2004) (pdf). Press release from Jens-Peter Bonde MEP

EU: The “principle of availability” takes over from the “notion of privacy”: what price data protection?

UK: ID Card Bill passed by House of Commons with 224 votes in favour and 64 against - more MPs abstained than voted: only 288 MPs voted and 368 MPs did not. The Bill now goes to the House of Lords: Guardian (link) Identity Card Bill as amended in Committee dated 27 January 2005 (pdf) List of amendments and votes - 10 February (link) Identity Card Bill: Report on the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights:

Czech republic: Prompt and accomodating implementation of EU data retention proposal See also: EU: Survey on police powers to exchange personal data across member states (pdf) Most police forces in member states have extensive powers to "autonomously" access and exchange data on individuals.

CIA prisoners 'tortured' in Arab jails (link to BBC)

Uphold Scotland's tradition of peaceful protest - Message from G8 alternatives

How I entered the hellish world of Guantanamo Bay Martin Mubanga went on holiday to Zambia, but ended up spending 33 months in Guantanamo Bay, some of the time in the feared Camp Echo. Free at last and still protesting his innocence, he tells the full story to David Rose and Britain's role in Guantanamo Obersever links).

Ten European associations file a complaint with the European Commission against Italy's collective expulsion of hundreds of migrants to Lybia

EU: Survey on police powers to exchange personal data across member states (pdf) Most police forces in member states have extensive powers to "autonomously" access and exchange data on individuals. No data protection provision on individuals rights in draft Framework Decision

EU: Laws on Joint Investigation Teams in a mess - UK "not complying" with the EU Framework Decision

Statewatch's Timetable on progress of new measures resulting from the 25 March 2004 EU Anti-Terrorist Declaration: Updated 1 February 2005: Timetable (pdf) Statewatch's "Scoreboard" and analysis finding that 27 out of 57 EU proposals have little or nothing to do with tackling terrorism – they deal with crime in general and surveillance: Statewatch Scoreboard (pdf)

Terrorist Designation with Regard to European and International Law:The Case of the PMOI (pdf) Joint Opinion by Prof. Bill Bowring, Director of Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute, London Metropolitan University and Prof. Douwe Korff, Professor of International Law, London Metropolitan University. "This Joint Opinion concerns the following questions: first, what is the significance in law of the word "terrorist"; second, how is it that an organization may find itself designated as "terrorist"; and third, what can the organization concerned do about it."

UK: Identity Card Bill: Report on the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights: "The report raises concerns about the compatibility of provisions of the Bill with the right to respect for private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and the right to non-discrimination in the protection of the Convention rights under Article 14 ECHR."

Statewatch European Monitor published. Vol 4 no 7/8, September-December 2004 [double issue]: Contents:
Dutch Presidency & the EU institutions * "Tampere II" - The Hague programme * Policing & criminal law * Counter-terrorism, security and civil liberties * Surveillance: biometrics, data retention, 'PNR', SIS * Immigration & asylum * Civil law * Secrecy and openness * Resources on JHA issues

UK: "Stop and search". The Home Office has issued a "consultation" report on stop and search this is accompanied by a Powerpoint presentation. Current practice is set out in: Stop and Search Action Team - Interim Guidance and Stop and Search Action Team - Strategy 2004-5


 

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