Yesterdays decision by the Lords has been welcomed by human rights groups:
“Our law lords have today ensured that there can never be a British Guantanamo anywhere in the world … there can be no British detention facility where the law does not apply” Shami Chakrabarti, Liberty.
Lords rule rights law applies to Musa case
By Luke Baker in Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – The Lords ruled on Wednesday that European human rights law did apply to British troops serving in Iraq in the case of an Iraqi man who died in their custody four years ago.
The decision means an independent inquiry, long resisted by the government, may now have to be conducted into the death of Baha Musa, an Iraqi hotel receptionist who died in September 2003 after being detained by British troops. It also means the government may have to order changes to the way troops operate on deployment.
The law lords’ ruling, by a majority of four to one, followed an appeal by the Ministry of Defence. A lower court will now decide if a public inquiry goes ahead. “Today we’ve been successful in the House of Lords and that means there must now be a full, public and independent inquiry into what went wrong,” Phil Shiner, a lawyer representing Baha Musa and other applicants, said.
“It seems clear from the public record that serious errors of judgment have been made at senior levels both within the military and the government.”