Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rights are messy

The National Review's Andy McCarthy, whose niche at The Corner is usually legal expertise --

The British government has an utterly ineffective process, called the "control order," for monitoring potential terrorist aliens who cannot be prosecuted because there is not enough evidence that can be used in court but also cannot be deported because of the UK's absurdly high restrictions against deporting aliens.

Wrong and wrong. Control orders can be used against UK nationals as well as resident aliens, and they exist not because of bars to prosecution or deportation alone but because British courts are still attached to that pesky principle, discarded by George Bush, that you can't detain people indefinitely without trial. They tried it in Northern Ireland and it didn't work. If McCarthy had his way, the British government would be looking into purchasing Sealand for the current subjects of control orders.

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