IMG_2114On 12-13 November, the Supreme Court (Lords Neuberger, Kerr, Dyson, Hughes and Hodge) heard the case of Beghal v Director of Public Prosecutions, a challenge to the broad power of detention contained in Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000.

The Schedule 7 power

Under Schedule 7, a person can be detained for up to nine hours by an immigration officer at a port or airport “for the purpose of determining whether he appears to be a person” who “is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.” Similar powers have been contained in anti-terrorism legislation in England and Wales since the enactment of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974: a good example of “emergency” powers making themselves a permanent home on the statute book. Continue reading »