14 February, 2007

Lord Falconer on human rights and terrorism.

Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, has been addressing the Royal United Services Institute on the subject of human rights and terrorism. Here is the full speech.

The speech itself is mostly waffle about the value of this government's human rights legislation and similar worthy sentiments. Falconer's main arguments appears to be three points about the fight against terrorism: it must must be policy led, not dominated by human rights lawyers; it is a struggle for values, so it must involve a hearts and minds campaign; and the Human Rights Act is an essential part of "identifying, defining and protecting" those values.

There is no detailed proposals in the speech, only what the BBC refers to as hints but the press has obviously been briefed. According to the Daily Telegraph report of the speech, the government will attempt to increase the permitted detention period for terrorist suspects from the present 28 days to 56 days; and the police will no longer be prevented from questioning suspects who have already been charged. However, the DT points to Whitehall speculation that nothing will actually be done until Blair has left office.

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