Control orders are unacceptable, whoever issues them
I’m afraid the debate over the control orders is heading off in the wrong direction with this misguided concentration on getting Clarke to ‘concede’ that non-derogation orders (imposing restrictions short of deprivation of liberty) should be issued, not just reviewed, by a judge, matching the so-called concession he has already made over derogation orders — which are irrelevant, as he knows very well that the derogation would be struck down again by the courts. I just hope that the judges will speak up loud and clear in the Lords debate to voice their objections to being misused in this shabby way. Simon Jenkins is very good on this point in his column in today’s Times, as usual. Critics of this poisonous Bill should be concentrating on the absolute requirement that suspects be charged and tried, if necessary being held beforehand for questioning while admissible evidence is collected — and if the clinching evidence is too sensitive to be disclosed to the accused, there should be a SIAC-type procedure in the trial. Restrictions like those proposed in the control orders would be reasonable bail conditions for people awaiting trial, but it’s the trial that’s crucial.
2 March 05