Unlawful asset freezing

April 24th, 2008 § 0 comments

The Times Online:

The Government’s powers to freeze the bank accounts of people it declares to be terrorist suspects are unlawful, the High Court has ruled.

Mr Justice Collins said that asset-freezing orders, introduced by Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, had the “most drastic effect” on the lives of British citizens, who were not allowed to know the detail of the allegations against them.

In a fiercely critical judgment, he added that the financial sanctions were unfair and absurd, and breached the fundamental rights of individuals.

This judge seems to have his head screwed on right, doesn’t he.

The judge said: “I take the view that the Orders in Council [the Terrorism Order and the Al-Qaeda and Taleban Order], as they stand, are not lawful. So far as the Terrorism Order is concerned, (this is) largely because it applies a far lower threshold – suspicion – than is justified by the UN resolution.”

“On the al-Qaeda order, it is because there is no fair means of enabling the individual to obtain any relief against the listing, because he doesn’t know what is alleged against him.”

He added that he had real concerns that the orders had introduced a criminal offence, of assisting a listed person, without consulting parliament

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