New Anti Terror Laws to endorse torture

John Reid, the home secretary, is heading for a showdown with the judiciary over plans to strip some terror suspects of the automatic right to be protected from torture.

Reid is preparing a new anti-terror law that would sideline human rights legislation protecting suspects from torture if ministers ruled there were “overriding considerations of national security”.

Full article here:

The Times: New Laws

Whilst I sympathise with the frustration over bringing these scum to justice, I am concerned as to the likely abuses these proposed powers would bring.

I am not a bleeding left liberalist, but what happened to the innocent "until proven guilty" basis of law?

If these suspects are a threat to national security they should be placed on remand.

Silence, in itself, is not a defense in a court of law, but it is an individuals right, and if a jury of thier peers deduce that this silence is a tacit admission of guilt, then so be it.

To torture confessions out of individuals is IMHO going too far. Shall the Government hold immediate family members ransom, pending "persuasive interview techniques" unless an individual agrees to his "assumed guilt".

I agree that the criminal justice system requires some serious rebalancing, however, to propose this is lunacy.

Maybe we are all to willing to embrace China`s doctrine on criminal justice issues.

Democracy is again being eroded due to a minority and the Great British Public will nod acquiescence to this erosion in the false illusion it will create greater security.
Jesus wept. Just when I think my opinion of some of the individuals in government can not sink any lower, they come back and surpass themselves yet again. I'm not sure which is more bloody stupid, the fact that they were even half seriously considering this insanity or that they thought the courts - either ours or in Europe - wouldn't nuke this thing into a smoking hole in the ground.
Why is it that its always a Labour Government that goes for extreame measures ?
If a Tory administration had proposed such mesures Rent a Mob ( remember them ?) would be storming the streets.
Some time ago on the Beebs Hardtalk program a US Professor of Law said that in his opinion if the Governement wanted to use Torture then it must be legalized as it had been in England back in the days of Liz 1.
Our democratic values and beliefs are so worthy of protection even to the extent where it is proposed that a policeman may place an electrode on your scrotum, laugh while you scream and watch you urinate on the floor!

Is there some kind of competition with Home Secretaries that the incumbent will attempt to outdo his predecessor in plumbing the depths of sado-masochism?

I want to know the name of every single MP who would actually endorse this!

These are people who are actually governing us. Does this sound like a rational and balanced Government to any reasonable person?

I think not!
I think this is actually about the rights of non-EU citizen terrorist suspects etc. subject to deportation. Recent cases have seen deportations challenged because the receiving nation is believed to employ torture. This legislation will enable national security considerations to override the rights of the suspect.

I don't think it is about UK authorities torturing UK citizens in the UK. I am sure Reid would like to do this (perhaps subcontracted to his Glesgae gangster chums) but the UK have ratified various conventions on torture and the International Criminal Court and are bound by the Human Rights Act and European human rights legislation.

Incidentally, as torture is subject to universial jurisdiction, I wonder what would happen to any US citizens suspected of involvement in "water boarding" and "induced hypothermia" who happen to be passing through non US states. I would expect my government to arrest them, just as they would arrest anyone suspected of torture from "lesser" nations!
Big boy's games, big boy's rules.
Put it this way; if you've lifted someone who may hold information that would prevent another 7/7 - how far would YOU go to protect your country, your friends and your family?
Or lets try another scenario; a pervert has kidnapped your hild or girlfriend. You've found him but not your loved one. Are you going to read him his rights, call a lawyer for him and videotape the interview?
If you have the unenviable dilemma of needing access to information that could save lives (such as those of your family) with no other recourse than torture, then there is likely only to be one moral answer:

Apply the required force in the knowledge that the action is illegal and in the hope that the circumstances will be recognised as mitigating.

There is no way that State-sanctioned torture would be limited for use on the "bad guys". Anti-terror laws certainly haven't!

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