APPENDICES TO THE REPORT
Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon David Blunkett MP, Home Secretary
The Joint Committee on Human Rights ('the JCHR')
is embarking on an inquiry into the human rights implications
of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 ('the Act')
as it is currently operating. Over the course of the next year
or so, the JCHR will considering the human rights implications
of the Act as a whole. The first stage is to consider the implications
of the detention provisions under sections 21 to 23 in the light
of the derogation from the right to liberty under the European
Convention on Human Rights ('the ECHR') and the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ('the ICCPR').
You have today laid before Parliament a draft order under section
29 of the Act, extending the life of Sections 21 to 23 of the
Act. The JCHR is therefore preparing to report to each House on
the human rights implications of sections 21 to 23, including
the derogation from Article 5 of the ECHR in respect of those
provisions, as a matter of urgency.
In the light of this, the Committee would be grateful
for information from you about the following matters
1. What is your assessment of the current nature
and seriousness of the threat to the United Kingdom from international
2. How may people are, or have been, detained
under sections 21 to 23 of the Act; what are the periods for which
they have been detained; what was the general nature of the information
giving rise to reasonable suspicion that they are international
terrorists; what are the methods used to keep under review the
justifications for their detention; how many detainees (if any)
have been released, and what were the reasons for releasing them?
3. What is your assessment of the effectiveness
of the detention of the detainees in helping to combat the threat
from terrorism in the United Kingdom or elsewhere?
4. What are the methods by which the Government
is keeping under review the factors on which the United Kingdom
relied when giving notice of its derogations from the right to
liberty under the ECHR and the ICCPR?
5. Why, in the Government's view, it is necessary
for the detention provisions to continue in force after the first
renewal date in March?
6. Are there any other matters which in your
view are relevant to the justification for allowing the detention
provisions to continue in force?
7. What are the reasons for the Government's
view, in November 2001, that it was appropriate to make a derogation
order under section 14 of the Human Rights Act 1998 in respect
of measures which had not yet been laid before Parliament or published?
The Committee would be grateful for a reply by 31
January or as soon as possible thereafter.
23 January 2003
45 Joint Committee on Human Rights, Fifth Report of
2001-02, Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill: Further Report,
HL Paper 51, HC 420, p. x, para. 20 Back