YESTERDAY'S High Court judgement finding the government's control orders on suspected terrorists to be illegal will further fuel the flames around both the government's attempts to hold terrorists without trial and David Cameron's new proposal for a Bill of Rights to give a better balance between the interests of the community and of the accused. Last year, just before the general election, Labour pushed through control orders which would enable it to hold suspected terrorists under a severe form of house arrest. This was seen as an alternative to indefinite imprisonment without trial which had been deemed to be illegal by the law lords. But Mr Justice Jeremy Sullivan yesterday said that the provisions of the control orders were so severe in their restrictions that they were in breach of European human rights legislation. The government is likely to appeal against this ruling as early as next week. Yet more legislation may follow. Six men, one British and five Iraqi, are currently being held under control orders. In each case the government insists that they are potential terrorists although it cannot produce enough or admissible evidence to try them in the courts. They are therefore being deprived of their liberty without the opportunity to answer in court the charges against them. It used to be thought that the Magna Carta protected the accused from this kind of abuse. Since under Labour it apparently does not, the safeguards offered by the Human Rights Act are doubly important.


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