Posts Tagged ‘legal’

More for Comment is Free for the Guardian (still burdened with that awful picture) – this time looking at the presentational problems which the British government is having with terrorist trials and cases. It is a problem since it is worrisome how much this is exacerbating a long-term problem – and it is very hard to definitively know one way or the other which way it goes. As is usual with CiF, some interesting comments and some which appear not to have actually read the text at hand. Charming.

More on this topic on the way with some other publications I write regularly for, as well as some longer academic pieces which will invariably take months to appear. Big editorial hat tip is owed to a friend and Institute member from Birmingham. As ever, thoughts, comments, links, etc are very welcome.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/04/terrorism-policy-july-7-trials

Appearance is key in tackling terrorism

The number of terrorist suspects cleared after blundered arrests provides a public relations disaster for the government

The conclusion of the trial of the three men accused of being co-conspirators of the 7/7 bombers means it is unlikely anyone is going to be convicted for that terrible crime.

Furthermore, the conclusion of the trial and a number of other recent events and trials in British counterterrorism all suggest one of two things: either the British government is chasing the wrong people, or the British legal system is unfit for purpose in effectively countering the terrorism the government thinks it is fighting.

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Another epistolary contribution, this time in the Washington Post in reaction to an article in last week’s paper by Craig Whitlock on “Extradition of Terror Suspects Flounders” – I see they ran it after another letter by someone from Human Rights Watch so maybe I should’ve used my title. My original was a bit longer, but didn’t really say much more and editing probably did it some favours.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/27/AR2008122700982_2.html

How to End an Extraditions Roadblock

Sunday, December 28, 2008; Page B06

The excellent article on extraditions highlighted an issue that quietly dogs the “special” Anglo-American relationship. But it missed a more atmospheric reason behind U.S. difficulties regarding extraditions.

In launching the “global war on terror,” the United States declared that the gloves were off and that the rules of the game were different. Yet it continued to expect its allies to adhere to the rules that applied before this new situation was declared. We may all agree that the current strain of terrorism poses a dangerous threat, but this disconnect provides lawyers with ample room for arguments that many European courts will permit.

This situation will fade in importance if the incoming Obama administration is able to live up to its many promises, including closing the Guantanamo Bay prison and realizing that the war on terrorism is a global criminal justice matter and one of many threats we face today, rather than the defining strategic threat.

RAFFAELLO PANTUCCI

London

A rather more modest contribution today, in the form of a letter in today’s International Herald Tribune, also since they chose to cut my initial text down, I am using this opportunity to publish the whole thing after the jump for those interested in reading the whole thing.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/19/opinion/edlet.php

(and here is the article I was referring to: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/18/opinion/edmassimino.php)

Elisa Massimino forgets to mention that many Guantánamo detainees cannot go home for fear of reprisals or punishment by their home government. The case of the Chinese Uighurs is the best example of this.

Furthermore, what about those who have been involved in terrorist activity, but have also been tortured in Guantánamo, rendering evidence collected against them or others they have implicated problematic in U.S. courts? Are they to be turned loose? Maybe yes – they have been punished enough – but where would they be released?

Raffaello Pantucci, London

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