From The Scotsman, with thanks to Teri:
FURTHER humiliation was heaped on David Blunkett yesterday as the Law Lords dealt a shattering blow to the government’s anti-terrorist strategy.
They ruled that foreign terror suspects cannot be detained indefinitely without trial, presenting Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, and Charles Clarke, the new Home Secretary, with a massive problem the morning after Mr Blunkett resigned….
In yesterday”s judgment, the Law Lords ruled eight to one that the human rights of foreign suspects held for up to three years without charge or trial had been breached, severely undermining a central plank of Labour’s security-based general election strategy. It also delivered a blow to Mr Blunkett’s legacy.
He had brushed aside protests from civil liberties groups to rush the law through Parliament in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States. He claimed that their “airy-fairy, libertarian” view did not match the harsh reality, adding that he “didn’t give a damn” how many foreign suspects were detained.
Mr Clarke had barely got his feet under the desk at Queen Anne’s Gate before the Law Lords” ruling that indefinite detention of foreign nationals without trial contravened human rights laws.
In an overwhelming condemnation of Mr Blunkett’s Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act, they said that indefinite detention of foreign nationals without trial was unacceptable.
One law lord described the legislation as a “Draconian” measure. Lord Hoffmann went so far as to suggest that the act itself was a bigger threat to the country than terrorism.
Hmm. I’m not sure that the act was a good idea in every particular, but I wonder what Lord Hoffman would say after a large-scale attack in Britain — perpetrated, say, by one of those he has made sure will be released.