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back to article European court pulls plugs on terror stop and search

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the UK police's use of stop and search powers granted under terrorism legislation is illegal. The case was brought by two people who were stopped and searched under the Terrorism Act of 2000 while on their way to an arms fair. The law grants police the power to search anyone …

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Alert

Gotta laugh at the irony

Of this ruling coming from the EU. But it really does show how fascist new liebour are. And try ask them about it, and the spout the old fascist line: "If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear."

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Big Brother

Anyone think they'll take any notice of the ruling?

After all, they ignored the court decision that told them to remove innocent people's DNA from the database.

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so...

"Between 2004 and 2008 total searches recorded went up from 33,177 to 117,278."

And just how many Terrorists did they catch?

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FAIL

Terrorists?

This legislation has been almost exclusively used to search people for drugs and weapons.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Terrorists?

> "This legislation has been almost exclusively used to search people for drugs and weapons."

And people with cameras. They're as dodgy-looking a bunch as you'll ever see. Some of them even look foreign, they must be up to no good. Especially the ones in the tourist traps. Terrorist traps, more like, etc etc.

Seriously, that old complaint "why aren't you out solving crimes instead?" has never been more appropriate.

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And...

Cameras... Don't forget the evil insidious photographers out there that must be stopped!

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Quelle surprise?

I am disappointed with the ECHR ruling in this case as we won all other challenges in the UK courts, including at the House of Lords

Hmm so those will be the 'courts' who are either under the thumb to a very large extent of HMG who wrote the law or else are the courts whose application of the law defined it....

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Flame

The Flaming Cheek!

"I am disappointed with the ECHR ruling in this case as we won all other challenges in the UK courts, including at the House of Lords. We are considering the judgment and will seek to appeal."

They've got a flaming cheek, referring to UK courts like that. This same government has previously expressed similar disappointment with those same UK courts when they've found New Labour's anti-terror laws to be incompatible with the Human Rights Act.

And when challenged on human rights? Why, this same government then congratulates itself for actually bringing us that same Human Rights Act in the first place!

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Anonymous Coward

...yeah

> "The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the UK police's use of stop and search powers granted under terrorism legislation is illegal."

Doesn't mean they'll stop doing it though, does it?

> "Policing and Security Minister David Hanson MP said: 'Stop and search under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is an important tool in a package of measures in the ongoing fight against terrorism.'"

How many terrorists have they stopped so far then?

If an "important tool" in the "fight against terrorism" is to simply stop as many random people as possible then I hate to think what their less important tools are like. Divining rods maybe?

Maybe they plan to dig holes in the pavement outside various tube stations and cover them with leaves, maybe a terrorist will fall into one. You never know, these days it's about as likely as a policeman actually doing some police work.

*sigh*

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I wish I could embed an image on this

So instead here's a link:

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa39/snud/nelson_ha_ha.jpg

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FAIL

Only the guilty have something to hide...

But surely the European court realises that only the guilty have something to hide! And any half decent innocent person will certainly hand the officer the rubber gloves that go all the way up to the elbows themselves!

This country is a joke. And not even a funny one.

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Headmaster

We will...

Consider the judgment for a year or so then implement a minor tweak to reset the status quo.

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Is he serious?

Gauleiter David Hanson...oops apologies, ...Policing and Security Minister David Hanson MP said: ”Stop and search under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is an important tool in a package of measures in the ongoing fight against terrorism.

”I am disappointed with the ECHR ruling in this case as we won all other challenges in the UK courts, including at the House of Lords. We are considering the judgment and will seek to appeal.”

On what grounds is he considering an appeal. The only reason it has been tried and tested in the UK courts is because much of the UK's judiciary is in cahoots with our freedom loving Government, making a very good living, thank you very much, out of the restrictive legislation brought in since 1997, isn't that right Cherie?

This was the first time stop and search in the name of preventing a terrorist act has been tested in an independent court and it has has been found to be seriously flawed. I just hope there are more test cases in the European Court that expose how much the public's freedom in the United Kingdom has been eroded in the last decade.

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What?

Regardless of whether one agrees with the law or policy in question, this incessant and somewhat unwelcome meddling from Europe needs to be ended. It has a colossal cost overhead, and in its current form has never been voted upon by the UK electorate. Indeed, its structure means that German and French voters have more power over UK laws than UK voters; this is an absurd, totally undemocratic situation. The European legislature has not even been in place for 50 years, whereas the UK's evolutionary system has been in place for almost 1000 years. One could raise the question "which system is more qualified to be calling the shots here?".

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@ac - WHAT?

"which system is more qualified to be calling the shots here?"

Innit obvious, twit? The one that's defending your freedom.

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Anonymous Coward

ECHR = it's Magna Carta

Actually ECHR is the European Court of Human Rights and has nothing to do with the European Union. It was a court and a set of fundamental rights set up in the post war period to protect the rights of Europeans, and ensure that we would never have a repeat of the German Nazi build up. UK was a primary player in creating it.

So suppression of free speech, splitting up families, detention without charge, warrantless search, etc. all these things became illegal and each country agreed to incorporate these things in their laws.

It was simply a reflection of the rights the UK had from the Magna Carta.

"The European legislature has not even been in place for 50 years, whereas the UK's evolutionary system has been in place for almost 1000 years. One could raise the question "which system is more qualified to be calling the shots here?"."

No, 800 years, Magna Carta protected these rights. The removal of Habeas Corpus was a Nu Labour thing, it had stood since the Magna Carta back in the 1200s!!

Tell me, do you think an UNELECTED leader is smarter than ALL the ELECTED leaders from the previous 800 years combined? I don't. He can't face election from his own party, he certainly can't be allowed to take away fundamental rights.

Heil Gordon!

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Stop

Sigh

For the ten millionith time, the ECHR has nothing to do with the EU. It comes under the Council of Europe, a separate body more akin to a European local version of the UN, and dates from 1950, so has been around for rather more than fifty years now. So the German and French voters have had no more or less say on the matter than the UK voters. It's an international treaty that we freely signed up to and ratified.

Basically the ECHR was largely written by British jurists using British principles of civil rights in order to show Johnny (European) Foreigner how to behave decently after the then Recent Unpleasantness. The great irony, of course, is that we don't practice what we breach and the UK has been called up for more violations of the Convention than any other European state.

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Megaphone

Re: What?

What do French and German voters have to do with this?? The European Court of Human Rights has nothing to do with the EU or the European Commission.

It's part of the Council of Europe, a much wider and looser organisation than the EU which includes other countries such as Switzerland, Russia, etc. and is more akin to a body like the UN.

The ECHR enforces treaty obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights, such as outlawing slavery, the death penalty, religious persecution, arbitrary arrest and detention, and so on. Most people think that's a good thing.

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@What...

...the one that stops your DNA being kept forever, the one that stops employers forcing you to work 100hrs per week for free, the one that stops your being searched by a copper with a ego to massage, the one the UK is a member of.

As for the Uk evolving over 1000 years, remember, it took cival wars and mass protests to make ANYTHING that helped the common man. Most laws are there to protect the landowners and wealthy. Thats why you get longer for robbing a bank than you do for killing a kid.

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Wasn't this on request?

I may have missed it, but I was under the impression that the EU Court was *asked* to render a verdict, it didn't do so out of their own volition because they got bored after running out of different types of beer to check or something.

I think it's a good thing there's a less dependent entity double-checking what the wig-and-frock clubs are doing over here (I wouldn't go as far as call them INdependent), because it's more difficult to bribe them. In Blighty it's easy: "work with us or we'll expose your expense claims too"..

/cynic

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I agree with your post completely....

...except for one very, very common misconception.

Yes, Gordon Brown is an UNELECTED (your capitals) leader...but so are they all! We do *not* elect our leaders in Parliament, that's the job of the respective political party members.

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Anonymous Coward

RIPA too, and Decrypt etc.etc.

Well DUH! Since when has random stop and search ever been acceptable in any free society???! They wouldn't have to scream terrorist and try to make people afraid if it made sense. The whole point of trying to induce an emotional response of fear is to shut down rational discussion!

But that also means all these expansions to RIPA are also likely to be illegal, since officers can demand private information without effective controls too. How is it different if they stop and search your phone in person, or grab the records from the telecoms providers with a RIPA letter? It isn't, its warrant less uncontrolled invasive search too.

Likewise criminal offence of failing to decrypt absent a crime. The days of suggesting you're a terrorist if you refuse to decrypt data, then prosecuting your refusal, has to stop too.

Likewise saying stuff that upsets other people, then saying 'offends public sensibilities' is somehow a good reason to take away free speech. You'd throw out free speech because somebody says something you don't like??? Isn't that the speech that most needs defending?

Likewise extraditing people abroad without sight of the evidence against them. They know that a person on bail in the US cannot keep their job, their mortgage payments, their home, their family life, and so extradition is a punishment. And yet they'd extradite a Brit on the WORD of a US prosecutor alone, without seeing the prima facia evidence that that person did that crime!? How can that ever be defended, obviously it can't so the Home Secretary is reduced to telling lies about the nature of the evidence used for extradition.

Likewise the DNA of innocent people. The last Home Sec phrased it to sound like people arrested are more likely to commit crimes for which DNA is the detection mechanism, yet the opposite is true. Even the charity who produced the report for her reversed their position, yet the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, simply does some misdirections and does it anyway.

So many stupid nasty attacks by the government on the people from this lot.

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FAIL

And...?

"We are considering the judgment and will seek to appeal.”

So they'll just do what they did with the legal ruling over DNA retention and basically ignore it.

What I'd like to see is proof that these random stop and searches have actually caught a terrorist....

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FAIL

Disappointed?

You wouldn't be if you didn't deliberately flaunt the law and bend interpretation to breaking point in order to enforce your will on the population.

Look up "Golden Rule" regarding interpretation of Law. You won't get your wings clipped if you abide by it, son.

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Megaphone

Dear Mr David Hanson MP.

Oi, Fucknuts.

Your sorry bunch of halfwits and self-serving arseclowns sold us out without say to Europe, the least you can do is abide by it's fucking decisions.

Yours in eternal contempt,

UK Taxpayer.

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YES!

And no, the irony of Europe stepping in to defend the human rights of British Citizens is not lost on me!

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Anonymous Coward

These laws have created a police state

and ruined the economy, no one goes out anymore. You take your life, and scant freedom in your own hands when you venture into any physical place of commerce, no one is worried about supposed terrorists it is the police.

What is going on with the government, it is nearly a coup but it is not self sustaining unless they are looking to move into slavery. There are elements of slavery in the UK society already, slavery exists when freedom is removed due to subjective opinion and force. But you do end up with a rather nasty revolution and no one doing anything in the UK.

So many are looking into offshore, and becoming UK non dom, I think most of us would like to give up citizenship and conduct affairs without UK involvement, no one wants to fund this dystopia, and they are right not to want to do so. The UK is a sickness, but it is one that represents a danger to itself and to the people of the British Isles.

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Let the mantra go out...

'For it is the name of anti-terrorism, and it is therefore good'

hmm the question is what is going to happen next? I would like to think that the system is reviewed to reflect (any) real need rather than a blanket order, which to my mind is just too handy and easy to mis-use.

ttfn

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Anonymous Coward

re: Let the mantra go out...

and if that fails the Mantra goes like this

"It is to protect the children!"

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Joke

The old Notre Dame defence ploy

"Finally the court objected to the lack of any controls on the individual police officers - they only have to say they had a hunch."

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Anonymous Coward

Hunches

I knew a hunchback once. She was quite a pretty girl, apart from having her chest on back to front.

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Black Helicopters

Fun Times Ahead

So . . . we are now faced with the prospect of playing guessing games when plod next wants to do a search. "No, you can't try the 'Terrorist' angle, that's been ruled out -- pick another one."

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"I like this"

As somebody who was stopped and searched for the suspicious activity of carrying two bottles of Dr Pepper in a small backpack through a rural train station, thank you EU courts, and I apologise for my fellow countrymen who whine that joining the EU was pointless.

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David Hanson MP said

”Stop and search under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is an important tool in a package of measures in the ongoing fight against terrorism."

So please explain why there has not been a single terrorist conviction as a result of the hundreds of thousands of people who have been (illegally) stopped and searched.

”we won all other challenges in the UK courts, including at the House of Lords."

Yes, because they are all your placed men. Who appoints judges in this country? That's right, the government.

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And what difference will this make

Previously on the street:

Plod: I am going to search you sir/madam.

Citizen: What for? Why? What justification?

Plod Under the terrorist act, there is no need for rhyme nor reason. Submit to search or I will arrest you for obstruction.

In future on the street:

Plod: I am going to search you sir/madam.

Citizen: What for? Why? What justification?

Plod: I suspect you of breaking a law, I'll think of one if I don't find anything incriminating. Submit to search or I will arrest you for obstruction.

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I see it now

It's all part of the "big plan". The government makes laws in this country, which are alien to our way of life. We appeal through the courts and get nowhere. We go to the European Courts and get a result. Therefore we all fall in love with Europe, the EU, etc. Eventually we will actively want to throw away our courts, our parliament, etc, because we see they don't protect our rights.

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Boffin

Those with nothing to hide can't always see into the future.

I'll call Godwin on myself but those people who proudly ticked Juden in the census of their free countries in the 1930s had absolutely nothing to hide. Indeed, many of them were proud that their WWI service had uprated their status as full citzens in various European countries.

Then IBM sold them out to the Third Reich and the Hollerith cards identifed 1/4 and even 1/8 Jews for deportation / murder.

IBM's founder Thomas J. Watson was awared the highest medal a non-German citizen could - the Eagle with Star (he returned it in 1940).

http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/about/IBMholocaust.html

Dutch Jews

1930 111,917 Census

1941 154,887 Nazi occupation

1947 14,346 Census

Even if you doubt the efficacy and knowing involvement of IBM, the book is a sobering insight into the lie of "nothing to hide, nothing to fear".

http://www.ibmandtheholocaust.com/

What if Facebook sold out tomorrow, their current promoses mean nothing.

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Anonymous Coward

So what?

Does anyone seriously think Mr Plod - by now the total arbiter of law on the streets in this country - is going to take the slightest bit of notice? Or at least find some way to circumvent any interference in their perpetual campaign to be a bigger public nuisance than criminals?

Get real !

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Jobs Horns

Surfs

You have to remember that the natural state of things in the UK is surfdom. Even now, there is a natural pull toward thinking and behaving like that at all levels of society in the UK.

We need things like the freedom of a powerful press and the EU to keep balance. We are not like European countries.

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Errr . . .

. . . that would be "serfs" and "serfdom".

Besides, I reject your notion entirely. Those of a lesser intellect may well seek serfdom, I seek dominion.

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Surfdom?

Cowabunga, dude!

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Time for the Conservatives to confirm they will abide by this

And an FOI request perhaps to find out how *many* convictions all this activity has actually produced. Since we are at it let's break that into convictions *under* this act (that is what you were stopped for) and anything else, which may be what it is being used for.

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RW

What's really important

1. Identify the specific people who push these police state agendas within government. I suspect there are specific civil servants in the home office, possibly in cahoots with certain representatives of the Stasi, who make sure that each new Home Secretary toes the line. Then publicize their names, preferably with dates, places, and leaked communications proving their involvement. "If you've done nothing wrong, then there's nothing to fear about publicity" is a good working slogan.

2. Nag, nag, nag all candidates in the upcoming election "what is your party going to do about the many laws NuLabour has passed which have the effect of destroying centuries old British freedoms and which have implemented a police state????" And then call them on it if they start to spout bullshit. If they waffle, the proclaim "so you're in favor of a police state, eh?"

3. Ensure that in every riding there is one independent candidate running on a platform of repealing NuLabour police state legislation. Talk this candidate up with your friends, relations, and co-workers. Do everything you can to elect MPs who are not responsible to any party and who are unafraid to tell the control freaks among the cops, local councils, H&S idiocracies, parliament, and the Home Office to fuck off.

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So, how long before ACPO decide they outrank ECHR?

We could run a pool on how long it's going to be before ACPO issue guidance to police forces throughout the country essentially stating that those Europeans are a bunch of killjoys who should keep their noses out!

On a serious note, I'm a little surprised that nobody has asked the ACPO representatives quite who the hell they think they are, making announcements on what the law is or isn't. That sort of announcement would seem to be somewhat above a Chief Constable's pay grade...

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What a load of bull...

Policing and Security Minister David Hanson MP said: ”Stop and search under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is an important tool in a package of measures in the ongoing fight against terrorism."

Oh really... Would he like to back this up by telling us the total number of terrorists that have been found by completely random stop and searches... Let me take a wild guess at how many... A big round zero.

Very important then...

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hjhagermann@hotmail.com

And this will stop this practise how? How will the genitally challenged EU goons enforce their wishy washy flannel? About as effectively as they enforced their ruling that the French ban on Britsih beef following the lifting by other nations was illegal. Like most other things, ignore the Euro Tossers and they will go away! The French seem to have this down to a fine art. Choose the laws to obey. If it does not suit, break it!

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It didn't take long for them to say they'll ignore it:

From The Times:

"Despite the judgment, Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, said that police would continue to use the powers, which allow them to stop and search people without having to suspect them of involvement in terrorism."

So "lalala we can't hear you" then, just like with PHORM...

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@dave lawless:

Nice one dave, thanks for the little reminder (among so many) that those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it. I really hope we don't play that song again.

And anyone whose campaign platform is based on abolishing your freedom should not be elected in a proper democracy. Where do these folks come from anyway? Ohhh.....

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Big Brother

Automaton

”Stop and search under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is an important tool in a package of measures in the ongoing fight against terrorism."

I do wish Labours goons would stop sounding like the human embodiment of a press release when responding to something that, amazingly, has gone in a way other than what they wanted. Campbell may have gone, but the chips he had inserted in the ministerial rectums linked to central office still sadly work as well as ever.

I'm glad this shuffling little echrembarrassment isn't my MP - although the one I do have is little better.

Thank you ECHR for at least a brief respite from the banality of evil.

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@RW

"Identify the specific people who push these police state agendas within government. I suspect there are specific civil servants in the home office, possibly in cahoots with certain representatives of the Stasi, who make sure that each new Home Secretary toes the line. Then publicize their names, preferably with dates, places, and leaked communications proving their involvement. "If you've done nothing wrong, then there's nothing to fear about publicity" is a good working slogan."

Quite correct. you might like to start witht he former heads of MI5,6 and GCHQ. One of them went to SOCA and is running the Inerception Modernisation Programme (The one that checks the *contents* of all packets but supposedly then records only the headers). They appear to be still fighting the IRA and the KGB (the main threats when they joined their respective services) 30 years on.

The ID card scheme must certainly have been chapioned over *decades* by some nameless civil servants. El Reg reckoned one of the elected junior ministers who was pushing this got dumped in the expenses scandal but Meg Hillier seems to stepped into his shoes. Definitely one to monitor in future.

Who exactly are ACPO? I don't mean the nominal Chief Police Officers, I mean the faceless writers of position papers telling them how ANPR is *vital* to improving security etc.

Indeed if they are so *proud* of their work surely they would *welcome* some recognition, as being able to recognise people (from a very great distance in some cases) seems to be so dear to their hearts.

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