In the Media

Lords to rule on terror suspects held in jail

PUBLISHED October 4, 2004

Nine law lords will today be asked to decide one of the most important issues to come before the House of Lords, Britain's highest court: can the state lawfully detain a criminal suspect indefinitely without charge or trial?

Only once before in recent times have the law lords sat in a panel of nine, a measure of the importance of a case whose outcome is likely to make headlines around the world.
The appeal is being brought by foreign terrorist suspects detained without trial under the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, passed shortly after the September 11 attacks in the US. This allows the indefinite detention of foreign suspects - but not British citizens, who remain entitled to all the safeguards of the criminal process.