Before the election both LibDems and the Tories said they would scrap control orders and replace them with something fairer and more effective.
“The long-delayed publication of the Counter-Terrorism Review revealed that instead of replacing the unsafe and unfair control order scheme, the Government is proposing a ‘control order lite’ which is still outside of the criminal justice system – potentially punishing the innocent while the truly dangerous may remain at large in the community.
The new system:
- will still include electronic tagging and an overnight residence requirement
- will make it easier for ‘controlees’ to use the internet, but will still place restrictions on which people they can meet and where they can go, including foreign travel bans
- will limit control orders to two years – although if it is possible to make a new order as soon as the existing one expires, then this constraint will be illusory
Crucially, the orders will still be initiated by the Home Secretary – and the regime will continue to run outside the criminal justice system of investigation, arrest, charge and conviction.” ‘Liberty’ online
Having listened to Sir Hugh Orde (or should that be ordure?) defending Kettling and even proposing ‘super kettling’ it is clear that citizens in the UK need to maintain constant vigilance to preserve long-held freedoms.
Chief among these is the right to a fair trial; to know what you have been accused of and what the evidence is. That in a nutshell is the trouble with control orders - lite or otherwise. The subject of the order does not get a day in court, or find out what they are accused of, the nature of the evidence, only that the security services think they are a threat. All very Kafkaesque.
Allow tape transcripts. Should a Judge feel it strictly necessary, hold cases or parts of the case in camera. This latest mishmash is neither fair or effective and contravenes basic freedoms.
It all harks back to the days of the Court of the Star Chamber when people perceived as threats were tortured and who then implicated other innocents.
Can we trust our security services? As stated here before, ‘Who watches the watchers?’ Can we trust our politicians?