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Proposed forty-two days’ pre-charge detention in the United Kingdom

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 11644 | 18 June 2008

Mr David WILSHIRE, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Guðfinna S. BJARNADÓTTIR, Iceland ; Lord Tim BOSWELL, United Kingdom, EDG ; Mr Christopher CHOPE, United Kingdom, EDG ; Mr James CLAPPISON, United Kingdom ; Mr José Luiz DEL ROIO, Italy ; Mr Tuur ELZINGA, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Nigel EVANS, United Kingdom ; Mr James GRAY, United Kingdom ; Mr John GREENWAY, United Kingdom ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Baroness Gloria HOOPER, United Kingdom ; Mr Tomáš JIRSA, Czech Republic, EDG ; Mr Karol KARSKI, Poland ; Mr Konstantin KOSACHEV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Ertuğrul KUMCUOĞLU, Turkey, EDG ; Ms Yuliya L OVOCHKINA, Ukraine ; Mr Humfrey MALINS, United Kingdom ; Mr Mikhail MARGELOV, Russian Federation ; Mr Morten MESSERSCHMIDT, Denmark ; Mr Mark OATEN, United Kingdom ; Mr Alessandro ROSSI, San Marino ; Ms Sabina SINISCALCHI, Italy ; Mr Tuğrul TÜRKEŞ, Turkey, EDG ; Mr Øyvind VAKSDAL, Norway ; Mr Robert WALTER, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Karin S. WOLDSETH, Norway
Referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, for report: Reference No. 3463 (19th Sitting, 23 June 2008).

The Assembly notes that:

  • the United Kingdom Government wishes to give the British police power to detain individuals for up to 42 days without charging them with any offence;
  • the Lower House of the British Parliament has voted in favour of such a proposal;
  • the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner has criticised this proposal;
  • the proposal is well in excess of approved limits in other Council of Europe member states.

The Assembly believes that the proposal is:

  • contrary to Articles 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • in serious violation of Article 3 of the Statute of the Council of Europe;
  • contrary to the fundamental British Common-Law principle of the rule of law, as first set out in the Magna Carta in 1215;
  • contrary to the specific ban on unlawful detention within British Common Law, as first codified in the Habeas Corpus Act in 1679.

The Assembly calls on the United Kingdom Government and the British Parliament:

  • to honour the commitments given when ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • to cease violating the Statute of the Council of Europe;
  • to respect the fundamental principles of human rights and the rule of law;
  • to abandon their attempt to give the British police this undemocratic and excessive power.

The Assembly requests its relevant committee(s):

  • to consider whether such a law is compatible with the obligations arising from membership of the Council of Europe;
  • to consider whether the United Kingdom is in breach of its human rights and rule of law obligations.