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Wed, 27 May 2020

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'Brexit could result in no justice for British victims of terror' warn barristers

Bar Council

2 min read Member content

In a new paper on Human Rights and Brexit (the latest addition to the Bar Council’s series of Brexit Papers), barristers have warned that the impact of Brexit on human rights will be profound.


The paper states that “a large number of rights under European Union law will cease when Brexit takes place”.

One of those, according to the Bar Council’s Brexit Working Group, may be a loss of rights for British victims of terror where the UK deprives individuals of British citizenship for terrorist reasons, even if it would make them stateless, because depriving terrorists of British nationality may mean that there is no duty to seek their trial and extradition in the UK. Currently, a deprivation of citizenship resulting in actual statelessness might be contrary to EU law. This change is significant because it has been said that the UK has become a world leader in depriving people of nationality. The loss of the rights of British victims of terrorism is an issue already under consideration at present with respect to the activities of the remaining members of the so-called Beatles gang in Syria. (see paras 2.5 and 2.6)

Another loss of rights is seen in the grant of a passport. UK law on its own does not grant an individual an automatic right to a passport, characterising it instead as a ‘privilege governed in accordance with current policy’, in contrast to EU law.

The Bar Council also caution that “Brexit will make the position of many close family members of British nationals resident in the UK much more precarious”.

“The Human Rights Act is no substitute for the loss of EU rights” they warn.

The full paper is here: https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/media/689545/brexit_paper_27_human_rights.pdf

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