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Ebulletin Year Archives: 2005

European Union introduces biometric data in passports

In December 2004, the Council of the European Union adopted a regulation requiring the inclusion of personal data such as facial images and fingerprints in travel documents. Similar proposals to include biometric data for visa and residence permits for non-EU citizens have been delayed due to technical problems.

United Kingdom: Control orders to replace detention without trial

On 26 January, the Government announced plans to replace administrative detention of foreign terror suspects with a regime of control orders. The orders would apply equally to UK and foreign citizens and range from restrictions of movement and communication to house arrest. The UK intends to seek diplomatic assurances from foreign countries in order to […]

Russian Federation: Counter-terrorism law passes first reading

On 18 December 2004, the State Duma approved in the first reading the Draft Law on Countering Terrorism. The draft, which has also been reviewed by the Legal Expert Council, a group of leading Russian human rights lawyers, contains broad definitions of “terrorism“ and “terrorist threat“ and a range of special competencies, which are not […]

US Department of Justice releases new torture opinion

On 30 December the United States Acting Assistant Attorney General issued a memo on behalf of the Office of the Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice overturning part of the previous memo and approved by then counsel to the President, newly appointed Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. While some of the definitional deficiencies of that […]

US: New Attorney General raises concerns among human rights groups and legal experts

On 3 February the United States Senate voted 60-36 to confirm Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States. The new Attorney General has been embroiled in controversy over his role in developing policy which has effectively undermined the prohibition against torture. Gonzalez approved a Justice Department memo which defined torture narrowly so as […]

US court: review process of indefinite detention of enemy combatants unconstitutional

A US Court held that the “Combatant Status Review Tribunals”, set up by Military Order to determine whether a detainee can be held in detention indefinitely as “enemy combatant”, violate due process rights under the US Constitution. The Court held that the Tribunals deprive detainees of sufficient notice and basis to challenge the detention by […]