Can someone explain to my why we can't just get rid of Abu Qatada without all the hoohaa?(23 Posts)
I just wonder what the consequences would be if we ignore the court of human rights and send him to Jordan anyway. Would anyone in the UK actually care?
They could just send him straight back and give the Govt a huge fine.
It would be awkward because a British judge is currently the president of the ECHR and Britain has the Chairmanship at the moment of the European Council. In other words, more than anyone, we have to uphold the rules... even if we'd prefer the rules to be changed. Two wrongs don't make a right etc.
This has gone on so long I can't remember why he was here in the first place. Why did we let him in, or did he carry out all that he's accused of while he was here?
Personally I think if the other countries in the EU (ie those represented by the court) want him to stay in the EU, then THEY can take him.
Is it because we can't move someone to a place where they might be subject to torture? Thats the only way I can make any sense of it.
No matter how culpable Abu Quatada might be, it seems clearly really important that governments are required -- by whatever legal processes that are available, including international ones -- to jump through procedural hoops that constrain them from pursuing policy ends to the detriment of human rights and very basic legal principles. The recent history of rendition shows how low governments are prepared to stoop when they think they can get away with it -- the [[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/apr/18/jack-straw-libya-rendition case involving rendition to Libya for example]]. So I think he should be allowed and even encouraged to take legal process to its fullest extent.
(My posting name is just a feeble joke, by the way: I haven't got any particular 'thing' about Qatada.)
The government cannot break the law. That would be a very slippery slope. And unfortunately the highest court in the land now is the ECHR, not the House of Lords.
I don't think there's many people in the Uk who would lose sleep if he suddenly woke up in Jordan but we can't allow the government to break the law. Nor do we want to see this muppet get millions in compensation from the tax payer.
It's nothing to do with the EU - the European Court of Human Rights exists under the Council of Europe, which is an entirely separate body.
It was created under British leadership - Churchill played a major party - after WW2, in an attempt to stop anything akin to the holocaust ever happening again. It's ironic that the Tories hate it when it's their revered leader who created it.
Having said that, it is frustrating that our immigration and justice system didn't kick him out long before it got to this stage. I believe he came to the UK on a forged passport and was turned down for asylum - why the hell was he ever given leave to remain in the first place? We should be able to deport undesirable aliens, and it's their tough luck if they've committed crimes over here - if they don't want to go back home, they should obey our laws. Although this shouldn't apply to genuine asylum seekers (the last govt. had a bad record of sending people back to Zimbabwe, for instance, claiming it was safe even as the news was full of people being tortured and murdered by Mugabe and his henchmen).
edam - thanks for that. I wasn't sure how it was all set up. But honestly - maybe we can set it up like families do - we've had him for awhile, give him to some other country to watch over now, once all the other countries represented by this court have had a couple years turn, THEN they can ask if we want him back (to which we'll reply NO).
I don't think this topic should be brought down to a partisan thing. The Tories hate having this guy around but so does Labour and the lib dems. I could just as easily say why was he allowed into the country under Labour's watch and allowed to stay for so long. I'm sure virtually all UK citizen's want to see the back of him.
The ECHR was set up with the best of intentions but in a totally different era. I don't think they ever envisaged well meaning laws being abused by foreign terrorists who hate our country enough to come and spread lies and incite hate but happy enough to take our money and spend it.
On this occasion, I can almost sympathise with Theresa May. The judgment was given on 17 January and the European Convention states:
"Within a period of three months from the date of the judgment of the Chamber, any party to the case may, in exceptional cases, request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber"
The argument is whether that period finished on 16 April (as UK Government believes) or 17 April as the defence team believes.
If the Convention had stated 90 days, it might have been a little clearer.
Thanks everyone for your very insightful comments. Lilymaid - this was the part that I couldn't understand, why Teresa May seemed to get it so very wrong. It seems that in fact she didn't after all. Three months is indeed open to interpretation to a certain extent.
Bloody ridiculous either way and while I totally agree that there need to be robust safeguards in place to keep governments in check, it is dreadful when these safeguards are exploited by terrorists with good defence teams.
"....exploited by terrorists with good defence teams. (paid by our taxes via legal aid)"
It's enough to make you want to weep!
niceguy - I wasn't making a partisan point about this particular case, agree he should have been chucked out under previous governments of both shades (I think he arrived when it was Major). I was just higlighting the oddity of constant Tory bashing of the ECHR - long before this case - when it was Churchilll who was heavily involved in creating it. We should feel some patriotic pride in the concept of the ECHR and the ideals with which it was created, even if the execution leaves an awul lot to be desired.
Does seem that the Home Office has made an almightly blunder here, though. WHY didn't they wait just 24 hours longer to be on the safe side?
I think I've read that part of the problem with the ECHR is the varying quality of the judges - many countries, especially from the newer member states, have very different judicial systems and their 'judges' are not judges in the sense we would recognise and may have very little training or experience - not comparable to senior members of the judiciary in the UK. That sounds like a Little Englander comment, but apparently the differences are genuinely significant and problematic.
... and how come people like Abu Qatada get legal aid so easily, when ordinary people find it so hard, and are left without legal assistance? Patients injured by drug company malpractice - tough shit, class action stopped because legal aid withdrawn. Normal people on legal aid have to jump through hoops, and keep jumping through them at various stages where legal aid is reviewed and can be withdrawn. How do feckers like AQ get legal aid so easily and so endlessly?
I thought he was off to America I am confused
Why didn't Teresa may tell the Jordan's to seek deportation once in the hands of the Americans I am sure they old of been happy to hand him over and they have not sighned up to HR.
And to say we need to follow the law when many of the human rights judges have no legal training just some randoms from the dodgy end of the EU
A good question edam....a very good question!
MrBo, not sure actually...but given the US seems to be able to extradite anyone from our country at will, why don't they request his extradition then just divert his plane to Jordan for 'refuelling'?
I mean if we're such good friends with the US that we have such a 'special relationship', then as best mates they can do us a favour!
The UK must be the laughing stock of the world. No wonder every man and his dog is trying to get in here. Once your in - its hard to get chucked out.
We are too nice for our own good and get the piss taken out of people like Abu wots his face.
Australia seem to have a very different approach to situations like this and tbh - in cases like this I think its more favourable.
Can't believe that the UK has lost it's appeal on this today... why? I'm finding it really really hard to understand why we aren't just turfing him out and making it someone else's problem- even if we do get fined? He's a nasty piece of work!
edam Legal Aid for immigration matters has been very cut and dried.
It's straightforward in that there is a means and a merits test. You either get Legal Aid or you don't. It's not like family law where sometimes you qualify but you have to pay a bit.
If he receives Legal Aid then he must qualify financially and the case clearly involves serious human rights issues, and his life and liberty are at risk - so he easily qualifies on the merits test.
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