Boris Johnson faces a legal fight to keep terrorists locked up after Labour’s Shami Chakrabarti and civil rights groups today hinted they could challenge an emergency law to stop terrorists being automatically released. The Prime Minister wants to pass legislation over the next 10 days to stop terrorists being automatically freed half way through their sentence without going before a parole board, under rules introduced by the Labour government in 2003. The government could also bypass European human rights laws to make the legislation law by ’derogating’ – effectively suspending - the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in order to apply the strict new measures. Although Britain left the EU on January 31, the ECHR is a separate treaty between 47 European countries, with the option to derogate ‘in time of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation’. Human rights and civil liberties activists are already lining up to challenge Boris Johnson’s emergency law, and could use the ECHR to ultimately contest it because it contains rulings on restrospective legislation. If the suspension of the ECHR was successfully challenged, the government could leave the ECHR – something previous prime ministers including David Cameron and Theresa May both considered before the… Read full this story
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