Litagation

David Miranda allowed to appeal against ruling on Heathrow detention

Posted by on 15/05/14 in David Miranda, Latest News, Litagation, Slider | 0 comments

David Miranda allowed to appeal against ruling on Heathrow detention

15.05.14 Partner of former Guardian reporter to challenge high court ruling on legality of his detention under counter-terrorism powers. avid Miranda, partner of the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, has been granted permission to appeal against a ruling that he was lawfully detained under counter-terrorism powers at Heathrow airport. The case – which also involves a challenge to the police seizure of computer material related to the US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden – will now go to the court of appeal. In February, three high court judges – Lord Justice Laws, Mr Justice Ouseley and Mr Justice Openshaw – concluded that Miranda’s detention at Heathrow under schedule 7 to the Terrorism 2000 Act in last summer was legal, proportionate and did not breach European human rights protections of freedom of expression. The judgment stated that Miranda, a Brazilian national, was stopped in transit between Berlin and Rio de Janeiro after meeting the film-maker Laura Poitras. He had been carrying encrypted files, including an external hard drive containing 58,000 highly classified UK intelligence documents, “in order to assist the journalistic activity of Greenwald”. The Guardian made his travel reservations and paid for the trip. Greenwald had told the court that the security services were well aware the seized material was in connection with journalism and not terrorism. He said there was no evidence to indicate that any disclosure had actually threatened or endangered life or any specific operation. But the high court ruled that Miranda’s nine-hour detention and the seizure of his computer equipment was lawful because although it was “an indirect interference with press freedom”, there was not only compelling but “very pressing” evidence of a risk to national security. During the hearing last November, a Cabinet Office official testified that the release of the GCHQ files Miranda was carrying would be very likely to cause great damage to security and possible loss of life. The judges declined to recognise that the seized files were “journalistic material” and insisted they included stolen raw data that did not warrant any freedom of expression safeguards. One of the grounds for granting permission to appeal was that the supreme court has recently decided to hear a related case, Beghal v DPP, which raises similar issues of whether the schedule 7 powers – under which so called ‘port stops’ are conducted – are compatible with European convention on human rights. Welcoming the decision, his solicitor, Gwendolen Morgan of Bindmans, said: “In giving Mr Miranda’s case the green light, the court of appeal noted the importance of the issues and the compelling legal arguments raised in his case. “We look forward to the appeal being heard as calls for reform of schedule 7 grow alongside concerns around the dangerous conflation of investigative journalism with terrorism which was starkly illustrated by Mr Miranda’s detention.” Source The...

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PRESS RELEASE: CAGE WELCOMES SCHEDULE 7 JUDICIAL REVIEW DECISION

Posted by on 28/03/14 in Latest News, Litagation | 0 comments

PRESS RELEASE: CAGE WELCOMES SCHEDULE 7 JUDICIAL REVIEW DECISION

28.03.14 (London, UK) CAGE today welcomes news that the IPCC has been granted permission at the High Court to bring a judicial review against the Metropolitan police. The IPCC had taken the Metropolitan police to the High Court back in October after the Metropolitan police refused to hand over complaints made by CAGE about young Muslims being harassed by police at airports. Schedule 7 has long been touted as a law misused to profile Muslims when travelling through UK Ports. For a decade CAGE and other organisations have brought this whole-sale discrimination to the attention of the authorities. Statistics show that 79% of those stopped in 2012-13 were non-white and mostly from Asian-Pakistani backgrounds. Complainants have also brought to our attention that questions asked related to their faith such as why they choose to grow a beard, what their local mosque is and how many times a day they pray. Recent trends show that the misuse does not stop at Muslims, with journalists, legal personnel linked to whistle blowers and other minorities also suffering from the broad-nature of the power. Asif Bhayat, Schedule 7 co-ordinator for CAGE said, ‘We welcome this small step in the right direction but maintain that Schedule 7 needs to be repealed not only because it infringes basic rights but because it is exercised in a way that discriminates against Muslims.’ Mr Bhayat continued, ‘CAGE urges those stopped under Schedule 7 to get in touch with us and complain through formal channels in order to challenge this abusive power.’...

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IPCC granted permission to challenge the MPS in relation to Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000

Posted by on 27/03/14 in Latest News, Litagation | 0 comments

Mar 27, 2014 The IPCC has been granted permission at the High Court to proceed with its claim for judicial review of the Metropolitan Police Service’s handling of complaints about its use of Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and its failure to provide the IPCC with investigation reports and background papers. Schedule 7 is the power to stop, question and detain people at ports of entry and departure.IPCC Chief Executive, Amanda Kelly said:“We welcome the court’s decision to grant us permission to bring this case. We consider that the Metropolitan Police Service has a legal obligation to provide us with investigation reports and background papers. Stop and search powers are a matter of great public interest and we look forward to the court considering this important issue.”The IPCC has been supervising complaints made in relation to Schedule 7 powers since June 2011 in direct response to concerns, in particular raised by Muslim community groups, on misuse of these powers. As part of that supervision the IPCC imposed terms of reference for investigating the complaints. As a result the MPS has to provide the IPCC with a draft final investigation report for each complaint so that the IPCC can satisfy itself the terms of reference have been met.Ends  Source...

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Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Posted by on 13/03/14 in Latest News, Litagation, Slider | 0 comments

Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

13.03.14 Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill it received Royal Assent on 13 March 2014. The Bill is now an Act of Parliament (law). Summary of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 To make provision about anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder, including provision about recovery of possession of dwelling houses; to make provision amending the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, Schedules 7 and 8 to the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Extradition Act 2003; to make provision about firearms and about forced marriage; to make provision about the police, the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Serious Fraud Office; to make provision about criminal justice and court fees; and for connected purposes. The latest renovation to the government’s counter-terror arsenal includes changes to Schedule 7, the airport stop and search power. Farid Malik asks if these changes provide rights’ protections that were absent before, or whether they are purely cosmetic. The Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill completed its passage through both Houses of Parliament and became law on 13 March 2014.  It has been heralded in some quarters as including the most radical and overbearing provisions that any recent British government has pushed through. Its arrival has come however, somewhat, under the radar but will dictate various dimensions of society including: crime and disorder, recovery of dwelling houses, dangerous dogs, extradition, travel, firearms and forced marriage. Whilst an attempt to reduce the definition for ’anti social behaviour’ to one of just ‘nuisance and annoyance’ was ostensibly blocked by the Lords earlier this year, the new Act means that injunctions can be granted if one threatens, on ‘the balance of probabilities’ to engage in anti- social behaviour, as opposed to the previous, harder to prove burden: ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. The lower the evidential burden is for something, the easier it is to prove, and this can be used to throw a blanket over parts of society and claim they are engaging in anti-social acts. This inevitably tightens the screws that government has over society, and subsequently, any increase of governmental control means a decrease in accountability. If one considers these changes in the law with other recent revelations, such as the fact the so- called ‘independent’ Investigatory Powers Tribunal actually sits inside the Home Office, then it appears that Whitehall seems to be dancing to a totalitarian tune. Importantly for Muslims, the new Law also makes amendments to the widely criticised Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.  Detention of travellers at ports and borders was and still is permitted, regardless of whether or not there is any ground for suspecting that a person had been involved in any sort of terrorism, the amendments have not made any changes to this provision. The notable changes to Schedule 7 are that: Immigration Officers may only exercise their powers if they have been designated to them specifically by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will need to issue a Code of Practice about training for those who undertake Schedule 7 powers. The maximum time allowed for questioning is reduced from nine hours to six. Also, and most crucially, since the judgment in Elosta, the new Act was edited to enshrine the right to have a solicitor present at any time during a Schedule 7 ordeal. This safeguard is a fundamental right of the detained, and Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson welcomes the new rule and confirms that, “there is no sound reason why questioning of a detainee should not be delayed pending the arrival of a solicitor who can advise on what questions they...

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