On Monday afternoon MPs will be asked to pass a Bill which will continue one of the worst legacies of the ‘war on terror’ - punitive sanctions imposed on potentially innocent individuals without them ever being charged, prosecuted or sentenced for any crime.
Another day, another unprovoked attack on the Human Rights Act. The Prime Minister, writing in the Sunday Express, gave the HRA another thoroughly predictable bashing. It’s all becoming depressingly familiar – the legislation carries the can for everything from the recent riots, ‘young people today’ to a perceived erosion of personal responsibility. Perhaps climate change and rising obesity can be laid at its door too?
Incredibly, up until April last year it wasn’t actually a criminal offence in this country to hold another person in slavery or servitude. Thanks in part to lobbying by Liberty, such modern day slavery was finally outlawed, with a new offence brought into English law through the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. This week, in London, we saw one of the first convictions under this new legislation that we campaigned so hard for.
A country can be judged by how it responds to a crisis. Riots across England have filled our TV screens with terrible images of violence and criminality and damaged communities have rightly demanded answers about the strategy of the authorities.
Earlier this year, Liberty received a flurry of concerned calls from welfare groups and advocates working with people in immigration detention. Without consultation, all detainees at one immigration detention centre, Tinsley House, had their mobile phones confiscated.
We rounded off Liberty's Party conference season last night by thanking our panellists - Attorney General Dominic Grieve and Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke - for a good start on civil liberties since taking office.