Control Order Judgment

Home Department written statement – made on 24th April 2006.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary

The administrative court handed down its judgment on 12 April 2006 in the first review of a control order under section 3(10) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (the 2005 Act). The court upheld the control order, but declared that the review procedure was incompatible with article 6 (Right to a Fair Hearing) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

I do not accept this judgment. In my view the 2005 Act is fully ECHR compliant and contains rigorous safeguards to protect the rights of the individual, including judicial oversight and reporting and reviewing requirements. Accordingly, I am appealing the decision.

In the interim, the ruling does not limit the operation of the Act. I have not revoked either the control order which was the subject of this review, nor any of the other control orders currently in force on the back of this judgment. Nor will the judgment prevent me from making control orders on suspected terrorists where I consider it necessary to do so in the interests of national security in future.

In the Government's view, control orders are the best way of addressing the continuing threat posed by suspected terrorists who cannot currently be prosecuted or, in respect of foreign nationals, removed from the UK. It is my firm belief that the 2005 Act strikes the right balance between safeguarding society and safeguarding the rights of the individual.