Does the Terrorism Act infringe upon Our human rights?

Essay by Mitchell@ntl March 2009

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How does a proposal of 12 weeks detention for suspected terror affiliates fit in with the European Convention on Human Rights or habeas corpus? Is freedom of liberty limited, and if so, does it not become obsolete or are these preventative measures of, unprecedented importance? A proposed extension of 90 days detention without charge was put forth as an amendment to the Terrorism Act 2000, on November 9, 2005, which allowed police to hold terrorist suspects for a period of up to 14 days. The length was rejected by the commons and a compromise of 28 days was voted through. It had been made a point by Government that police advised the three-month long extension and deemed it necessary for the prevention of terrorism. The statute enables police authorities to arrest people who they suspect are involved with terrorist activity. These include acts of preparation, encouragement, training, distribution of terror publications and are all new offences.

The Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Andy Hayman, expresses his support for the 90-day term, in a letter to the Home Secretary. Two of his points are of particular interest; the comparison of Irish Republican Army-terrorism and "modern terrorist," he points out that the latter extremist "seeks to maximise casualties," whereas the IRA, made some effort to minimise casualties for political reasons. Another is technological advancement and the radicals' proficient use of it. I.e. the large number of hard drives seized, containing data, which needs decrypting, examination, and analysing before being integrated into an interview strategy, mainly the fact that this all takes copious amounts of time. Therefore, as the imminent threat has increased and evolved, legislation must adapt accordingly to remain effective.

It would appear necessary to detain suspects at such an early investigative stage as current acts of terrorism involve suicidal...