In November 2013, the Home Secretary asked David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation to conduct an independent review of the operation of the Government’s practice on deportations with assurances (DWA).
While the most high profile of these cases involved the return of Abu Qatada to Jordan, the Government has increasingly sought to rely on unenforceable bilateral agreements in respect of countries which routinely use torture to secure the removal of individuals from the UK. The Independent Reviewer has invited submissions on a range of questions about the effectiveness of the use of DWA and the procedure which applies to deportations where assurances are secured.
JUSTICE maintains that negotiating assurances with countries known to use torture is wrong in principle and ineffective in practice. We are concerned that the goal of the Home Office review appears designed to remove safeguards against torture. We urge the Independent Reviewer to consider the limitations of the existing procedure, including the unfairness of the operation of closed material proceedings – and the use of secret evidence – to determine the safety of an individual’s concern.