David Miranda Case: Terrorism Act Found Incompatible With European Convention on Human Rights


Master of the Rolls, Lord John Dyson, has stated that a key clause in the Terrorism Act (2000) has been found to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights in a recent court of appeal judgment in the Miranda case. Miranda (pictured) was detained at a London airport in 2013 for possessing files related to information obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Lord Dyson said that the powers contained in schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 were flawed as it permits authorities to question travellers in order to uncover whether they appear to be terrorists. They have no right to remain silent or to receive legal advice and they may be detained for up to six hours.

“The stop power, if used in respect of journalistic information or material, is incompatible with article 10 [freedom of expression] of the [European convention on human rights] because it is not ‘prescribed by law’,” said Dyson LJ.

He continued to write that: “If journalists and their sources can have no expectation of confidentiality, they may decide against providing information on sensitive matters of public interest.”

The ruling rejects the broad definition of terrorism advanced by government lawyers, with the Court of Appeal assserting that the correct legal definition of terrorism requires some intent to cause a serious threat to public safety such as endangering life.

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Image source: www.portalimprensa.com.br

Text source: www.theguardian.com – 19th January 2016

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