Note: A European Court of Human Rights judgment has now (February 2019) declared a violation in this case. See below Beghal v UK.
The British High Court has called for a legislative change to “Schedule 7” terrorism powers under which David Miranda, partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was held for questioning.
However, the judge has ruled that the Schedule 7 regime is legally acceptable and that Sylvie Beghal, held under Schedule 7, did not have her right to liberty under European Convention law breached. Nor was her right to a private life breached by the obligation under Schedule 7 to answer any questions put by security officers – however personal.
Lord Justice Gross in his conclusion said: “In short, the balance struck between individual rights and the public interest in protection against terrorism does not violate the fundamental human rights in question.”
The judges recommended the law be changed to bar the use of admissions gained at a Schedule 7 questioning being used against the individual at any subsequent criminal trial. Schedule 7 questioning is not accompanied by the usual protections for suspects including the (qualified) right to silence and the absolute right to a lawyer. Read the rest of this entry