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News

Book available on UK measures against terrorism threats.

Research And Markets : 22 October, 2007  (New Product)
Research and Markets offers book on executive measures taken by UK government in the fight against terrorism and improvements in national security.
Research and Markets has announced the addition of "Executive Measures, Terrorism and National Security" to their offering.

'David Bonner presents an historical and contemporary legal analysis of UK governmental use of executive measures, rather than criminal process, to deal with national security threats. The work examines measures of internment, deportation and restriction on movement deployed in the UK and (along with the imposition of collective punishment) also in three emergencies forming part of its withdrawal from colonial empire: Cyprus, Kenya and Malaya. These situations, along with that of Northern Ireland, are used to probe the strengths and weaknesses of ECHR supervision. It is argued that a new human rights era ushered in by a more confident Court of Human Rights and a more confident national judiciary armed with the HRA 1998, has moved us towards greater judicial scrutiny of the application of these measures - a move away from unfettered and unreviewable executive discretion.

This book is the culmination of a career-long interest in the ways in which United Kingdom Governments, both at home and in Empire, have sought to manage terrorism and other national security threats by legal means other than those in the criminal process and the criminal law. These legal means have been executive measures of internment (detention) without trial; restrictions on residence and movement; exclusion or banishment from one part of the realm or Empire; and, as regards undesirable 'aliens', denial of entry to the country or deportation from it on public good grounds. The book confirms me as a frustrated historian disguised in the garb of an academic public lawyer, fascinated by the ebb and flow in judicial supervision of executive action and the gap between the rhetoric of protecting liberty and the undue deference shown, until recently, by judges when the executive intones the mantra of emergency or national security. It also shows me as a student of human rights protection, too long disappointed by the lack of adequate European supervision afforded in this area by the European Court of Human Rights.

This book is more than a mere historical account of some interesting exercises of executive power to manage crises and threats to security and public order. After 9/11, executive measures (ATCSA detention, control orders, and public good deportations) - despite the supposed primacy of criminal prosecution - have returned to prominence in the United Kingdom's counter-terrorism strategy, after the 'blueprint' for anti-terrorism legislation for the twenty-first century - the Terrorism Act 2000 - had seemed to consign them to history. Moreover, such measures are reportedly increasingly a post-9/11 feature in a number of jurisdictions whose previous counter-terrorist strategy had been firmly founded in the criminal law and process. The book is thus also very topical. The powers and their uses in the United Kingdom since 9/11 have proved controversial and generated equally controversial landmark judgments as judges in challenges to these powers explore the boundaries of the new constitutional settlement represented by the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and the consequent emergence of a rights-based democracy. A central argument of the book is that the only 'rule of the game' that has changed (to adapt Prime Minister Blair's phrase) is the traditional one that United Kingdom courts faced with the exercise of executive powers in the 'security' sphere in reality give the executive a free hand and legitimate whatever action the executive consider necessary to deal with the threat. The hypothesis advanced here is that in this HRA era, United Kingdom courts have begun to undertake an enhanced level of scrutiny in an area they once characterized as too sensitive for judicial involvement and in which they exercised
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