Tag Archives: islam

Tackling the big issues

markreckless (2)It is an honour to represent the Rochester and Strood constituency since being elected as our MP in 2010. I enjoy the opportunity to assist many of my constituents with a wide range of problems. I am sometimes able to use my position to assist constituents personally in situations where the constituent feels they are being treated unfairly by intransigent bodies or powerful individuals. Whist I am not successful in all of my efforts on behalf of constituents, I always try my best to deliver the best possible outcome.n

I was elected to represent my constituents in Parliament – not government in my constituency. Much of my time is spent dealing with local constituency matters but, as a Member of Parliament, and particularly as a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, I also have the opportunity to focus on some of the big national issues which are of importance to my constituents – immigration, crime, policing.

Over the bank holiday weekend I have been speaking on a number of these issues on local and national media and some of these are reproduced below. If you have an opinion, let me know by leaving a comment below or get in touch.

On Crime

On Prisons

On Islamic Extremists

On Border Controls

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Abu Hamza has Flown – Now Where is Abu Qatada’s Plane?

At last we have put Abu Hamza on a plane following a no-nonsense High Court judgment, an exceptionally robust statement from the Lord Chief Justice, and close final co-operation between the Home Office and US federal authorities.

But did it need to take so long?

As I explained on BBC Newsnight the final High Court judgment “gives the strongest indication yet” that the answer is ‘No’.

The UK government had sat on its hands for years because ministers argued that they would be ‘breaking the law’ if they were to extradite a suspect contrary to a ‘Rule 39 injunction’ issued by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECtHR).

Along with Dominic Raab MP and others I have argued that this is an incorrect interpretation of the law. If ministers were instead simply to proceed with extradition following a UK court process, then UK judges would be likely to rule such action lawful, irrespective of any ECtHR Rule 39 decision.

The judgment handed down in respect of Abu Hamza and four others on Friday 5th October 2012 strongly suggests that the High Court here shares that view, and that ministers have been unduly deferential to Strasbourg. At paragraph 13 of the judgment our judges note that the ECtHR’s Rule 39 is advisory rather than mandatory:

“Under Rule 39 of the Rules of that Court, the court indicated to the UK government that it would be desirable in the interests of justice not to extradite the claimants until further notice.”

The UK High Court therefore does not recognise any “Rule 39 injunction”, still less consider that it “prevents extradition”, as ministers have previously mistakenly stated.  A Rule 39 decision only “indicate(s)” what the ECtHR considers “would be desirable”. Further, the ECtHR indication is made only “to the UK government”, and not generally, or to the UK court.

The implication is clear for Abu Qatada, or any other suspect the UK courts have ruled may be extradited, but who has awaited (perhaps for years) an ECtHR decision following a Rule 39 decision. Ministers should prepare the plane.

UK courts are clear that they are not beholden to Strasbourg, so there is no reason in law for ministers to be either.

VIDEO: Mark Reckless MP welcomes Abu Hamza deportation