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Anti-terrorism control orders: liberty and security still in the balance

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The compatibility of anti-terrorism control orders with Arts 5 and 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 was the subject of litigation culminating in three House of Lords' judgments in late 2007, and a further case on Art 6 will be argued before a nine-panel House of Lords in March 2009. To date, the litigation has required important modifications to be made to how control orders work, but the regime provided by the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 remains essentially intact. The government therefore claims that control orders strike an appropriate balance between the interests of liberty and security. This paper critiques the role played by the courts in challenging control orders under human rights laws. It argues that it is necessary to incorporate the right to freedom of movement into UK law in order to allow a proper balance between liberty and security to be effected by the courts.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-121X.2008.00118.x

Affiliations: Lecturer in Law, University of Southampton

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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