Goldsmith No To 42 Days

0
1384
Young people marching through Crawley against detention without charge or trial
Young people marching through Crawley against detention without charge or trial

Amnesty International UK yesterday welcomed a further statement by Labour’s former Attorney General, Goldsmith, opposing plans to extend detention without charge to 42 days.

Amnesty spokesperson Neil Durkin said: ‘Lord Goldsmith is right to say that extending the already overlong pre-charge detention periods in this country would damage our fundamental freedoms.

‘Locking people up without charge for six weeks would have a huge impact on detained individuals, damage community relations and intelligence-gathering, and undermine our international standing when it comes to talking to other countries about human rights.

‘Along with other well-informed opponents to 42 days, we hope the government is now listening to Lord Goldsmith’s views.’

In a comment piece in the ‘Sunday Telegraph’, Goldsmith warned, ‘We start ourselves to destroy these values and the very basis of the free society that our ancestors fought hard to create if we readily give away critical liberties, such as the right we all have not to be arbitrarily held without charge.’

He added that there should be ‘court scrutiny and no compromise on fundamental values – such as unfair trials at Guantanamo Bay’.

He said changes should be made ‘only if they do not involve abandoning truly fundamental principles (such as fair trial and the prohibition on torture) and provided they can be shown to be necessary and proportionate to the threat. . . 42 days fails the test of being shown to be necessary and proportionate.’