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Terrorism: Human Rights

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 20 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of the operation of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the Government's ability to detain or deport terrorist suspects; and if he will make a statement. (135598)

[holding answer 3 May 2007]: As my right. hon. Friend the Prime Minister advised the Member for Stratford-upon-Avon (Mr. Maples) on 2 May, the Human Rights Act 1998 does not affect our ability to detain or to deport. The Human Rights Act simply incorporated our pre-existing international obligations into domestic law.

Detention has to be consistent with Articles of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the European Convention on Human Rights). In deporting someone from the United Kingdom, we have to have regard to our obligations under Article 3 of the ECHR as defined in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

The Government are seeking to secure a modification of the current case law through its intervention in two cases currently before the Court.