After a bloody civil war, Creon, King of Thebes, directs that the body of his nephew Polynices, leader of one of the warring factions, be left to rot in the street. This, he believes, will be a warning to those who would rise up against the State. Antigone, Polynices’ sister, vows to bury her dead brother even though she knows that in doing so, her punishment will be death.
Of all the imaginable human rights violations, torture is one of the most serious. Following the horrors of the Second World War the international community ensured its strict prohibition was at the heart of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The ban on torture is one of the few absolute rights – it can never be justified and there are no exceptions, even during conflicts or the fight against terrorism.
"The real problem that this Bill is designed to solve is the justified embarrassment that the security agencies suffered when a recent civil case exposed their involvement in rendition and torture”. So said Lord Strasburger as Peers had their first opportunity to consider the Justice and Security Bill during its second reading in the Upper House this week. In those few words he said it all – succinctly exposing a complex, convoluted Bill for what it truly is.
Today we commemorate World Refugee Day, which sees the United Nations Refugee Agency co-ordinating a series of events to raise awareness of the plight of refugees worldwide. The celebrations are a timely reminder of the bravery and sacrifices of millions of displaced people across the globe.
As part of its campaign for secret courts under the “Justice and Security Bill”, the Ministry of Justice has posted a helpful "Mythbuster" online to try and put a positive spin on things. Yesterday we brought you the truth behind the Bill’s jargon – today we explore whether the arguments for it amount to the “busting” or breeding of spin.
Today the Coalition published its Justice and Security Bill, which seeks to elevate the authorities above the law and allow dirty secrets to be hidden from open Courts, the press and public. With its talk of Public Interest Immunity (PII), Closed Material Procedures (CMP) and Special Advocates, it’s a complex read. So let’s take a look at what it’ll all mean in practice…
We were delighted with the outstanding attendance at our Members’ Conference and Annual General Meeting on Saturday. On the hottest weekend of the year to date, Liberty supporters from across the country did us proud by giving up their time to flock in droves to the event.
The dust has now settled after this month’s Queen’s Speech, which set out the Coalition Government’s legislative intentions for the next year – and brought with it a whole new host of challenges for fundamental rights and freedoms in the UK.
Here in the UK it’s a fundamental constitutional principle that no-one is above the law – including the Government. But as feared last week’s Queen’s Speech featured the ironically-titled Justice and Security Bill, which seeks to change all that. This is no longer just a Green Paper. We need your support for our For Their Eyes Only campaign more than ever.