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Brown adviser: Labour’s rights record dismal

Lord Lester, a Liberal Democrat and distinguished human rights lawyer, quit as the prime minister’s adviser on constitutional reform a month ago. In a scathing attack yesterday, he revealed for the first time how he felt tethered by the government, describing its record on human rights as “dismal and deeply disappointing”. Which makes this thread of reporting rather more interesting. read more | digg story

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Jack Straw wishes to strengthen the use of anonymous evidence

Jack Straw has a case, but this story is magnificent fuel for the present debate on civil liberties. Would you mind being held for 42 days yourself, before being charged, and then convicted on the strength of anonymous evidence? If you think it unlikely, consider the now long-standing abuse of the RIP Act. I wish he would not repeatedly emphasize the complexity of the issue, and that he would not suggest that this is a problem “these days”. I refuse […]

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Jack Straw: “Labour’s decade is liberty’s best since the vote was won”

See this Guardian article: First, the Human Rights Act. We really did “bring rights home”, as we said we would. At last British people have been able directly to access and to enforce positive rights in the British courts, rather than having to go to Strasbourg and wait for years in a queue. Shami Chakrabarti, Director, Liberty, in a letter of December 2007: “Our research shows that, far from being the home of liberty, Britain has the most draconian detention […]

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