the men who ended democracy: in Britain

For a review of democracy’s death in England, read:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,9115,1635869,00.html

“The End Of Habeas Corpus In Great Britain”
Jean-Claude Paye
The Monthly Review, November 2005, V 57 No 6.
http://monthlyreview.org/

The British Parliament adopted a new antiterrorist law, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, on March 11, 2005. By doing so, Parliament made it possible for the government to carry out the long-standing project of expanding the emergency provisions to which foreigners are subjected within the context of the war on terrorism to cover the whole population, including citizens. This change is important because it calls into question the notion of habeas corpus. The law attacks the formal separation of powers by giving to the secretary of state for home affairs judicial prerogatives. Further, it reduces the rights of the defense practically to nothing. It also establishes the primacy of suspicion over fact, since measures restricting liberties, potentially leading to house arrest, could be imposed on individuals not for what they have done, but according to what the home secretary thinks they could have done or could do. Thus, this law deliberately turns its back on the rule of law and establishes a new form of political regime.

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