Independent Media Centre Ireland

Stop and search powers illegal according to the European court

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | other press author Tuesday January 12, 2010 17:53author by Campaigner

Spotted this on the eirigi website and it could have some possible and very welcome repercussions right across Ireland.

The European court has ruled that stop and search powers which the British government has given to various police forces by virtue of Sections 44&45 of the Terrorism Act 2000 are illegal. The Strasbourg court had been hearing a case involving two people stopped near an arms fair in London in 2003. The European Court of Human Rights said the pair's rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated.

The court said the stop and search powers were "not sufficiently circumscribed" and there were not "adequate legal safeguards against abuse".

Obviously, in the North where there has been concern about the rise in the use of stop and search powers, the PSNI will have to re-assess their use.

However, I think that the case could also impact upon the Gardaí and the way they have policed and harassed many on their way to various protests and demo's such as at Rossport, Tara, etc.

Perhaps, a few test cases are needed now on the back of this ruling.

This other article about the ruling is from the Guardian this afternoon and contains a link to the full judgment at the bottom

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