Issue 65 - 12th November 2007

Monday 12 November 2007

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Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly rapporteur Dick Marty presented a report on whether individuals and groups "blacklisted" by the UN Security Council and the European Union for their links to terrorism are treated in line with Council of Europe human rights standards. These "blacklists" refer to the possibility whereby a committee working under the authority of the UN Security Council may order sanctions targeting individuals or corporate entities suspected of having links with international terrorism. More info

"The point of international adoption is to enable a child to find parents, with respect for his or her rights, not to satisfy the parent's wish to have a child at all costs: there is no such thing as the right to a child", concluded the Parliamentary Assembly Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, at a meeting of the committee in Paris. More info


In PM and Others (Kabul, Hizb-i-Islami) Afghanistan CG [2007] UKAIT 00089 (12 November 2007) the Tribunal found that Dr Giustozzi is "an extremely helpful and reliable witness" who employed an impressive range of sources and has demonstrated his independence. In general there is a degree of impunity and there are risks of torture and serious mistreatment of detainees both in the prison system and during interrogation. However returnees from the United Kingdom with Hizb-i-Islami associations will not, without more, be at real risk at the airport or after arrival in Kabul, for they will not normally be suspected by the authorities as insurgents The average returnee would not face undue harshness in living in Kabul. More info

In Bapio Action Ltd & Anor, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2007] EWCA Civ 1139 (09 November 2007) the Court of Appeal found that the Home Secretary cannot introduce a change to immigration status without obtaining the necessary authority of Parliament, and nor can any other government department by issuing guidance which has the same net effect. Hence the Department of Health advice to NHS employing bodies that international medical graduates with limited leave to remain expiring before the terminal date of any training post that was on offer should be offered the post only if the resident labour market criterion was satisfied, directly and intentionally affected immigration law and practice by imposing on the possibility of employment in the public sector a restriction beyond those contained in the Immigration Rules. More info

In Al-Haramain Islamic v. Bush (Case No. 0636083p - 16 November 2007) the 9th Circuit of the US Court of Appeals examined the warrantless communications surveillance program which President George W. Bush authorized the National Security Agency ("NSA") to conduct following events of September 2001 in the USA. The program intercepted international communications into and out of the United States of persons alleged to have ties to Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks. Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, a designated terrorist organization (in fact a Muslim charity active in more than 50 countries whose activities include building mosques and maintaining various development and education programs), brought a suit against President Bush and other executive branch agencies and officials. The government countered that the suit was foreclosed by the state secrets privilege, an evidentiary privilege that protects national security and military information in appropriate circumstances. The Court found that in the light of extensive government disclosures about the Terrorist Surveillance Programme, the government was hard-pressed to sustain its claim that the very subject matter of the litigation was a state secret. However a sealed document accidentally linked to the Plaintiffs was inadmissible. Despite taking seriously their obligation to review the documents with a very careful, indeed a skeptical, eye, and not to accept at face value the government's claim or justification of privilege, disclosure would undermine the government's intelligence capabilities and compromise national security. More info

In Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Nallaiya, 2007 FC 1197 the Federal Court of Canada overturned a decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada for failing to consider whether the immigrant, given their finding that he had not personally committed any violent acts or engaged in any conduct that enabled the LTTE to carry out violent acts against others, which left open the question whether Mr. Nallaiya was a "personal and knowing participant" in a group (the LTTE in Sri Lanka) whose conduct was contrary to the Convention. More info


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