The Constitutional Significance of the Decision of the House of Lords
‘This is the most important case to come before the House since I have been a member.’
Constitutional lawyers have called the judges’ verdict on the terror laws one of the most important decisions from Britain’s highest court in 50 years. The 240-paragraph judgment, handed down on 16 December 2004 outlines the opinions of an unprecedented panel of nine law lords, instead of the usual five, because of its constitutional significance. The ratio of the case alone was of extreme importance, concerning the issue over the disproportionate and discriminatory locking up of foreign suspected terrorists without trial. It confirms …show more content…
In time of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation any High Contracting Party may take measures derogating from its obligations under this Convention to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with its other obligations under international law.
The conclusion of the 8-1 majority of the law lords was that the UK government had not acted within the constraints if the derogation right. The Lords quashed the Derogation Order and declared the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act to be incompatible with the human right