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A and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department

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  1. Overview and context
  2. The facts
    1. The Human Rights Act 1998 (Designated Derogation) Order 2001
    2. Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
  3. The decision
    1. The meaning of ''public emergency threatening the life of the nation'' in art.15, ECHR were not satisfied
    2. The actions of the Government in the 2001 Act and Order were not proportionate as they went beyond what was ''strictly required by the exigencies of the situation''
    3. The actions of the Government ran contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of English law?freedom and liberty of the person
    4. S.23 of the 2001 Act was discriminatory

This document concerns the detention of suspected terrorist suspects who are non-British nationals. In the context of a world which is more alert to security in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the Government reacted with new laws. However, these laws need to be tempered with age old principles of liberty of the person, which are at the heart of English law and are secured by both Magna Carta and Habeas Corpus terrorist atrocities cannot let us forget this. It cannot allow us to throw these liberties away. Otherwise the terrorists would win. The Government therefore needs to strike a balance between national security and liberty of the individual. It is in the context of the above and an ongoing struggle between the Executive and the Judiciary that this case is set.

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