Terrorism Laws

Law professor: Terrorism laws can be used to stifle dissent


UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — Britain's use of anti-terror laws to freeze the assets of failing Icelandic banks shows how such legislation can be abused for purposes other than originally intended, according to a UN independent expert.

"It is indicative of the risks that measures that are originally inserted into legislation in the name of fighting terrorism may have a spillover effect into matters which have nothing to do with terrorism," said Martin Scheinin, the United Nations' special rapporteur on the protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism.

Last week Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde accused London of "bullying a small neighbour" over funds frozen in the online bank Icesave, and threatened to take legal action in response.

Haarde was reacting to London's use of anti-terrorist laws to freeze the assets of failing Icelandic banks in Britain as it sought to protect the deposits of thousands of British savers and public bodies.

Post-9/11 powers likely to expire

TheStar.com - News - Post-9/11 powers likely to expire
Post-9/11 powers likely to expire

Liberals drop their support for controversial provisions, so Conservative motion for renewal almost sure to be defeated

Feb 10, 2007 04:30 AM
Tonda MacCharles
ottawa bureau

OTTAWA–In a surprising about-face, the Liberal party yesterday dropped its support for extending the most controversial anti-terrorism powers it granted to police when it was in government after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

It's likely that, as a result, the Anti-Terror Act's most far-reaching provisions – for investigative hearings of material witnesses in terror cases and preventive arrest without bail for 72 hours – will expire as scheduled on Feb. 16. Those two provisions have never been used.

The Liberals now say they will refuse to support a Conservative motion to renew the powers for three more years, even though they had supported a five-year extension in a parliamentary subcommittee review released in October.