Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill threatens access to courts and independence from government
The Law Society has raised concerns regarding the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill 2014-2015 ahead of its second reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday 13th January.
As the Bill stands there are a number of issues that would significantly impact on human rights. The Law Society supports the concerns raised by the Joint Committee on Human Rights and would like to draw particular attention to limitations on access to courts, and the apparent lack of independence from government.
Access to courts and provisions allowing challenges to the new powers that the Bill will give are absent. This raises serious issues with regard to Article 6 of the ECHR, and may also conflict with European legislation.
The Law Society recommends that there needs to be proper oversight and judicial safeguards to make sure that powers, including the Home Secretary's ability to impose temporary exclusion orders, are not abused.
President of the Law Society Andrew Caplen said: "From a human rights perspective, there are a number of measures proposed under the Government's new Bill that give cause for concern. While it is appreciated that there is a balance to be struck between the threats to national security posed by terrorism and avoiding diminishing civil and human rights, our fundamental liberties must not be forgotten."