JCHR Press Notice 04-05 No. 8

Session 2004-05                            27 January 2005

Evidence from the Home Secretary

The Government's response to the House of Lords' Belmarsh judgement

The Joint Committee on Human Rights will take oral evidence in public from the Home Secretary on the implications for human rights of the Government's response to the 16 December judgement by the House of Lords in the cases of A and others v. Secretary of State for the Home Department and X and another v. Secretary of State for the Home Department.

The full details of the evidence session are as follows:

Date:  Wednesday 9 February 2005

Time:  4.30 pm

Witness:  Rt. Hon. Charles Clarke MP, Home Secretary

Location:  Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House

[Notes to editors: In their judgement the Lords allowed the appeals by the Belmarsh detainees against the validity of the UK's derogation from the right to liberty in Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). They also made a declaration of incompatibility under section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 to the effect that section 23 of the 2001 Act was incompatible with Articles 5 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the grounds that it was disproportionate and discriminated on the ground of nationality or immigration status.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights considers and reports on matters relating to human rights in the United Kingdom.

It regularly reports on the compatibility of proposed legislation and of Government policy with the European Convention on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. The Committee has published a number of reports on the ATCSA 2001, both when it was a Bill before Parliament and subsequently on the continuance in force of Part 4 of the Act. Most recently, the Committee reported on the provisions of Part 4 of the Act in relation to the Home Office's February 2004 discussion paper on counter-terrorism powers (Eighteenth Report from the Committee of Session 2003-04, Review of Counter-terrorism Powers, HL 158/HC 713). In this report the Committee expressed concerns about the operation in practice of Part 4 ATCSA and recommended consideration of a number of possible alternatives to it .]

Media inquiries: Adele Brown, Tel 020 7219 0724/07711 155 722, email: brownac@parliament.uk.