Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’

The Renewal of Control Orders before the UK Parliament

March 8, 2010 4 comments

At the end of February the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights reconsidered the use of Control Orders under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, which the Home Secretary (Alan Johnson, pictured left) has asked Parliament to renew for another year from 11 March (the fifth such renewal). Control Orders impose “tailored” restrictions upon individuals on whom they are imposed, which typically involve relocation of the individual, restricted contact with friends and family and a denial of access to the internet and other unmonitored forms of communication.

The Home Secretary informed Parliament in formulaic language based upon the wording of the PTA 2005, that, ‘the powers are needed to ensure that a control order can continue to be made against any individual where the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds for suspecting that individual is or has been involved in terrorism-related activity’. The chief argument marshalled in favour of the orders was that, ‘it is necessary to impose obligations on that individual for purposes connected with protecting members of the public from a risk of terrorism’. Read more…

Proscription Powers and the Banning of Islam4UK

January 20, 2010 1 comment

Last week the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, announced that he was taking steps to ban the group Islam4UK in the wake of the conviction of several of its members for public order offences relating to their protests at a parade of soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment returning from service in Iraq in 2009.

Islam4UK, fronted by Anjem Choudary (left), is the offspring of Omar Bakri Mohammed’s al-Muhajiroun, which infamously referred to the 9/11 hijackers as “the magnificent nineteen”. The group denounces “Western Values”, supports the implementation of Sharia law, and has argued that British Muslims owe no allegiance to the United Kingdom. Although in this latest incarnation the group claims not to publically promote violence in the support of these causes, members have been convicted in relation to terrorism and public order offences. It has been adept at attracting media coverage, particularly amongst the British tabloid press, to its extremist views.

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The UK Supreme Court Dismisses the Jewish Free School Appeal

December 16, 2009 5 comments

A nine-judge panel of the United Kingdom Supreme Court today delivered what the Guardian is describing as ‘the most controversial ruling since the supreme court [sic] was created’. Whilst the Court, in the words of its President Lord Phillips (at [8]), ‘has not welcomed being required to resolve this dispute’, it ruled, in a 259 paragraph judgment, that the Jewish Free School’s (JFS) admissions policy amounted to direct discrimination on the basis of race. Whilst further commentary will undoubtedly follow over the next few days, there follows a brief summary of this decision. Mairead Enright blogged on the Court of Appeal’s decision on this case when the Supreme Court heard the case in October (here and here).

At issue was whether part of the JFS’s policy for choosing between potential pupils in the event of oversubscription (and, as Lord Phillips noted at [5], ‘JFS is an outstanding school. For many years far more children have wished to go there than there have been places in the school’) which gave priority to applicants regarded as “Jewish by birth”. M, a child who applied to the JFS, was denied a place at the school because, in the determination of the Office of the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, M’s mother was not Jewish at the time of M’s birth as her conversion to Judaism had not taken place in an Orthodox synagogue. Read more…