June

G8 and Security (link to Transnational Insitute, TNI). G8 Legal Support Group (link) Red Pepper's G8 Events Guide (link). See also: Statewatch special report: The exceptional and draconian become the norm - G8 and EU counter-terrorism plans (pdf): "Special investigative" techniques * "intelligence information" in court * new "preparatory" terrorist offences

UK Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Justice and Home Affairs: Provisional agendas for JHA Councils on 12-13 October and 1-2 December 2005 - see page 18 onwards (pdf)

Statewatch: Terrorising the rule of law: the policy and practice of proscription Statewatch, with partner organisations the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) and the Human Rights and Social Justice Institute (HRSJ, London Metropolitan University) publish extensive research on a new website to explain and monitor the policy of “proscription” – designating groups and individuals as “terrorists” in order to criminalise their activities or impose sanctions against them. The website includes expert legal analysis on the development of the policy, the scope and effect of the current UK, US, UN and EU “terrorist” lists, the procedures used to agree them, and what listed groups and individuals can do to challenge their inclusion.

UK: The Identity Project: an assessment of the UK Identity Cards Bill and its implications (published by the LSE) 27 June 2005 (2.5 MB, pdf)

1. Identity Card Bill (full-text, pdf) Explanatory Notes (pdf)
2. House of Commons Research Paper comparing previous Bill with present one (link)
3. Government briefing to Labour MPs (pdf)
4. Home Office Regulatory Impact report (pdf)
5. UKPS Biometrics Enrolment Trial Full Report (link, 3.7MB) Includes the finding that the fingerprint success rate (ie: a usable record) was as follows: Asian 70.90%, Black 54.70%, Chinese/East Asian 65.91%, Other 74.91% and White 70.86%
6. ID cards: implications for Black, Minority Ethnic, migrant and refugee communities (IRR News Service, link)
7. Liberty: 2nd Reading Briefing (pdf)
8. Transport and General Workers Union briefing (pdf)

Italy-CIA: International Herald Tribune (link) Abroad, anger over U.S. tactics... "MILAN The extraordinary decision by an Italian judge to order the arrest of 13 people linked to the CIA on charges of kidnapping a terrorism suspect here dramatizes a growing rift between American counterterrorism officials and their counterparts in Europe...."

UK: New Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill published (pdf) Explanatory Note (link) Regulatory Impact (pdf) Final RIA (pdf)

EU: Confusion over the Visa Information System (VIS) continues. A Note (20.6.05) from the EU Presidency of the Council of the European Union calls for an an "additional period of reflection". First, "certain delegations" want only 2 fingerprints to be recorded (like for the planned EU passport) but a majority want 10 fingerprints. Second, a study carried out in the Netherlands shows that it is very difficult to "capture" fingerprints from small children leading to the question whether there should be a lower age limit - and for EU passports too? Third, having collected fingerprints from visa applicants in their own countries then stored on the central VIS database there is still no agreement on just how and where checks against the data held will be carried out in the EU. Note from Presidency (French, 10222/01/05). See also: Analysis from Statewatch on the linkage between VIS and SIS II: SIS II fait accompli? Construction of EU's Big Brother database underway (pdf)

Spain: Court dismisses terrorist charges in Basque youth association trial

Spain: Court report on the Gabriele Kanze case - Gabriele Kanze was detained in complete isolation in Switzerland, and in provisional and preventative detention in Spain, for a total of over two years and eight months before being released.

Amnesty International reports on: Seeking asylum is not a crime: detention of people who have sought asylum (link) and Europe: Treatment of refugees and asylum seekers (link)

EU: European Council, 18 June (press release, pdf). See pages 4-7 on justice and home affairs

Report from Le Forum des droits sur l’internet (Forum for Internet Rights) on the national identity card project INES (identité nationale électronique sécurisée): Report (French, pdf) and the LSE Identity Project - draft for public consultation in advance of final report (pdf)

EU: Statewatch analysis: Legislative proposals on SIS II. Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex, concludes: "Given the non-existent democratic scrutiny, dubious financial accountability, unjustified extensions of access to data and ambiguous provisions on data protection and the grounds for people to be banned from the entire Schengen area, these proposals represent another step in the construction of a European "surveillance society"".

G8 - Gleneagles Summit, Perthshire, Scotland, 6-8 July 2005: Meet the friendly face of the Gleneagles "bobby" (pdf) Local security information (link) The local impact (link) Taking out insurance cover (link)

USA: General Accountability Office (GAO) Report on RFIDs (radio frequency identificationy) which are used to transmit data from chips holding personal and biometric data

EU: Updated documents on EU Terrorism Action Plans:

1. Updated Terrorism Action Plan (version dated 10 June)
2. Council and Commission Hague Programme (10 June - English version)
3. Report from EU Anti-terrorism Coordinator - useful summary of implementation of measures at national level

UK: European Commission against Racism and Intolerance - 3rd report on UK (pdf) Reports on Muslims, asylum-seekers and refugees living in a 'climate of fear and suspicion'

Norway: Update on the Krekar case (link) Norway: All charges dropped against Krekar (Statewatch News Online, June 2004)

EU: Report from the European Union Committee, House of Lords: Evidence by Commissioner Franco Frattini,
Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security on Justice and Home Affairs Matters
(pdf)

UK: Violent Crime Reduction Bill published (pd). Includes: Alcohol Disorder Zones and Directions to individuals to leave a locality: "That test is that the presence of the individual in that locality is likely, in all the circumstances, to cause or to contribute to the occurrence or continuance in that locality of alcohol-related crime or disorder."

New publication: The glass consumer: Life in a surveillance society edited by Susanne Lace. The Policy Press (pdf)

EU: Forsenic DNA databasing: A European Perspective (link)

USA: Justice Department, Inspector General's crticial report on the role of the FBI in investigating leads prior to 11 September 2001 (link)

Denmark: Greenpeace verdict introduces collective punishment in Danish law

Council of Europe: Report from the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) on the UK. Critical report on the treatment of people held in Belmarsh and Woodhill under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001)

Lord Steyn: Britain accused of creating terror fears: Law lord says UK and US tried to bend international law with Belmarsh and Guantánamo detentions (Guardian, link)

Italy/Spain: Big Brother Awards

UK: Damning report on human rights and civil liberties: Report by Mr Alvaro Gil-Robles, Commissioner for Human Rights on the United Kingdom, Council of Europe (pdf)

SIPRI Yearbook 2005: Press release (pdf, link). The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute annual report shows that global military expenditure rose again, topping one trillion

UK: GMB Union Congress Demands End To Electronic Tagging Of Workers "Battery Farm" Workplaces. Press release (link) Report (pdf) Guardian coverage (link)

EU: On 7 June the plenary session of the European Parliament unanimously adopted the report from the Committee on Civil Liberties calling for the rejection of the proposal from the Council of the European Union (governments) on the mandatory retention of all telecommunications traffic data: Full-text of report (pdf)

EU: Letter to the European Parliament on mandatory retention of communications data - from European Digital Rights, Privacy International and Statewatch. Letter (French) Letter (German) Letter (Spanish)

Statewatch analysis: Revising EU border control rules: A missed opportunity? (pdf). Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex, seeks to untangle the discussions between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament (EP) on the abolition of internal border checks and external border controls. While the EP has had some success in getting a number of its more modest amendments accepted more radical changes have either been rejected by the Council or not tabled at all by the EP. So while, there will be some important improvements there are risks, in particular, of breaches of international human rights law and refugee law concerning asylum-seekers who arrive at the external borders of EU Member States, as well as the human rights of demonstrators and protesters.

EU: In 2000 Statewatch prepared a report for the European Parliament on: "The impact of the Amsterdam Treaty on justice and home affairs issues". Volume 1: The main report (799kb, pdf) Volume 2: Annexes (721kb, pdf)

Ethnic Profiling by Police in Europe (Open Society - Justice Initiative, link to full report, pdf). Contribution by Ben Hayes (Statewatch): A Failure to Regulate: Data Protection in the Police Sector in Europe (pdf)

EU/Libya: Full steam ahead, without pausing to think examines the draft Conclusions discussed by the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 2 June 2005

EU-AFRICA-UKRAINE: In an interview with eupolitix.com, justice and home affairs Commissioner Frattini has announced that the Commission will launch two regional protection programmes for refugees (RPPs) in July: “The Great Lakes region is probably the biggest origin area of illegal immigrants and the eastern dimension of Europe for example, Ukraine or Georgia or Belarus. We will try to start with two pilot programmes, the first one for Africa and the second one probably for Ukraine”, he said. The RRPs will focus on "relief, rehabilitation and regional development in a bid to build capacity in countries which can host large numbers of Europe bound refugees" and are described as an "alternative" to the controversial UK plans to build camps outside Europe to hold refugees bound for Europe. To many observers, however, the Commission's plans look very similar indeed. See eupolitix.com (link) and Statewatch analysis: Dismantling refugee protection in Europe (July 2004, pdf)

ID cards: implications for Black, Minority Ethnic, migrant and refugee communities (IRR News Service, link)

Transform Drug Policy Foundation: After the War on Drugs: Options for control (link). Excellent report examining the key themes in the drug policy reform debate, detailing how legal regulation of drug markets will operate, and providing a roadmap and time line for reform

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA), 2-3 June, in Luxembourg:

a. Press release (English, pdf)
b. "B" Points agenda (pdf)
c. "A" Points agenda (adopted without discussion)
d. Background Note (French, pdf) and see documents being considered:

1. Draft Framework Decision on mandatory data retention (8864/1/05)
2. Council Legal Service Opinion on data retention proposal (French)
3. Statewatch report: Data Retention proposal partly illegal, say Council and Commission lawyers
4. Evaluation of European Arrest Warrant implementation (8842/1/05)
5. Updated Terrorism Action Plan (version dated 31 May) - NEW
6. Draft Framework Decision on racism and xenophobia (8994/1/05)
7. Council and Commission Hague Programme (9246/2/05 - French introduction, English text, pdf)

Greece has broken European consensus: Joint Public Statement - Amnesty International, European Bureau for Conscientious Objectors and War Resisters' International (link)


 

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