Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Goldsmith urges Guantanamo closure...

In a sense, a quick update to my post below: not only the judiciary, it seems, but also the UK Government is growing increasingly tired of US actions in Guantanamo. Lord Goldsmith, the Government's chief legal advisor, has today called for the closure of the detention centre, stating that its existence "remains unacceptable". In terms at once conciliatory and critical of the US, he noted that the prison had "rightly or wrongly" become a symbol of injustice, and went on to state that "The historic tradition of the United States as a beacon of freedom, liberty and of justice deserves the removal of this symbol".

Thus, while the judiciary in the UK has become more and more vocal in its criticism of Guantanamo, the nearest the executive had come to that position until today was to refer to it as an "anomoly". It is interesting to speculate the extent to which growing judicial unrest has contributed to both the content and the timing of this statement by the Government. One thing seems certain, however: the Attorney General's intervention will make it much easier for the UK Courts to admit evidence obtained from detainees in Guantanamo in cases involving terrorists, such as the ongoing Abu Qatada case that I refer to below.

No comments: