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"Sufficiently informed to meet the case"? The right to information in a Europe fighting terror

Modin, Gabriella LU (2011) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract
Since the terror attacks in USA in 2001, legal measures with the aim of preventing new attacks have multiplied, many with direct and harsh effects on individuals. Proceedings imposing such measures have, furthermore, been characterized by secrecy, sometimes to the extent that none of the grounds have been communicated to the persons concerned. This has led to a legal development in Europe concerning the procedural right to information, which forms part of the right to a fair hearing. This legal development is assessed in this essay. Through the analysis of anti-terrorism measures from three different legal orders: the UK, Sweden, and the European Union, the state of the law on procedural information rights is illustrated. It is concluded... (More)
Since the terror attacks in USA in 2001, legal measures with the aim of preventing new attacks have multiplied, many with direct and harsh effects on individuals. Proceedings imposing such measures have, furthermore, been characterized by secrecy, sometimes to the extent that none of the grounds have been communicated to the persons concerned. This has led to a legal development in Europe concerning the procedural right to information, which forms part of the right to a fair hearing. This legal development is assessed in this essay. Through the analysis of anti-terrorism measures from three different legal orders: the UK, Sweden, and the European Union, the state of the law on procedural information rights is illustrated. It is concluded that although the last decade’s legal development, driven by the ECtHR, has strengthened information rights, there are still important gaps.

One such gap regards security-related deportation proceedings. A strengthening of the individual’s information rights in relation to these is suggested, in particular when also the question whether there is a risk of torture as a result of the deportation has to be determined in the proceeding.

A warning is also raised in relation to measures imposed through EU regulations, freezing the assets of terrorist suspects. Although the EU courts’ case law has led to significant ameliorations in the EU procedural rights protection there is a risk, due to the multi-level structure of the freezing regimes, that a sanctioned individual falls between the systems and is consequently not afforded a sufficient procedural protection. Awareness in the Member States of the required standard of information rights and the intrusive nature of the freezing measure is therefore imperative. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Sen 2001 års terrorattacker i USA har regleringsåtgärder med syfte att förebygga nya attacker ökat nämnvärt, i vissa fall med direkta och ingripande konsekvenser för enskilda individer. Vidare har påtvingande av sådana åtgärder karakteriserats av sekretess, ibland i den omfattningen att ingen information angående grunderna har kommunicerats till berörda personer. Detta har lett till en utveckling i Europa av rätten till partsinsyn, som utgör en del av rätten till en rättvis rättegång. Denna utveckling analyseras i uppsatsen. En analys av anti-terroristlagstiftningar från tre olika Europeiska rättsordningar: Storbritanniens, Sveriges och EU’s, belyser rättsläget angående rätten till information. Trots det senaste decenniets juridiska... (More)
Sen 2001 års terrorattacker i USA har regleringsåtgärder med syfte att förebygga nya attacker ökat nämnvärt, i vissa fall med direkta och ingripande konsekvenser för enskilda individer. Vidare har påtvingande av sådana åtgärder karakteriserats av sekretess, ibland i den omfattningen att ingen information angående grunderna har kommunicerats till berörda personer. Detta har lett till en utveckling i Europa av rätten till partsinsyn, som utgör en del av rätten till en rättvis rättegång. Denna utveckling analyseras i uppsatsen. En analys av anti-terroristlagstiftningar från tre olika Europeiska rättsordningar: Storbritanniens, Sveriges och EU’s, belyser rättsläget angående rätten till information. Trots det senaste decenniets juridiska utveckling, främst pådriven av Europeiska domstolen för de mänskliga rättigheterna, som förstärkt rätten till partsinsyn, finns det betydande brister. En sådan brist påvisas angående säkerhetsrelaterade utvisningar. Vad gäller sådana fall föreslås ytterligare förstärkning av rätten till information, i synnerhet då utvisning kan leda till att personen utsätts för tortyr i mottagarlandet.

En varning utfärdas även i förhållande till åtgärder införda genom EU-förordningar som leder till frysning av en persons tillgångar. EU-domstolarnas praxis har visserligen lett till en avsevärd förbättring av det processuella rättighetsskyddet. Ändå finns det en risk att individer hamnar mellan rättssystemen i de fall en frysningsåtgärd har sin grund i beslut på medlemsstatsnivå såväl som på EU-nivå. Medvetenhet i medlemsstaterna om rätten partsinsyn och om det allvarliga intrång som en frysningsåtgärd utgör är därför nödvändig. (Less)
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author
Modin, Gabriella LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
comparative public law, war on terrorism, Right to information, procedural rights
language
English
id
1768013
date added to LUP
2011-01-26 13:20:07
date last changed
2011-01-26 13:20:07
@misc{1768013,
  abstract     = {Since the terror attacks in USA in 2001, legal measures with the aim of preventing new attacks have multiplied, many with direct and harsh effects on individuals. Proceedings imposing such measures have, furthermore, been characterized by secrecy, sometimes to the extent that none of the grounds have been communicated to the persons concerned. This has led to a legal development in Europe concerning the procedural right to information, which forms part of the right to a fair hearing. This legal development is assessed in this essay. Through the analysis of anti-terrorism measures from three different legal orders: the UK, Sweden, and the European Union, the state of the law on procedural information rights is illustrated. It is concluded that although the last decade’s legal development, driven by the ECtHR, has strengthened information rights, there are still important gaps. 

One such gap regards security-related deportation proceedings. A strengthening of the individual’s information rights in relation to these is suggested, in particular when also the question whether there is a risk of torture as a result of the deportation has to be determined in the proceeding.  

A warning is also raised in relation to measures imposed through EU regulations, freezing the assets of terrorist suspects. Although the EU courts’ case law has led to significant ameliorations in the EU procedural rights protection there is a risk, due to the multi-level structure of the freezing regimes, that a sanctioned individual falls between the systems and is consequently not afforded a sufficient procedural protection. Awareness in the Member States of the required standard of information rights and the intrusive nature of the freezing measure is therefore imperative.},
  author       = {Modin, Gabriella},
  keyword      = {comparative public law,war on terrorism,Right to information,procedural rights},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {"Sufficiently informed to meet the case"? The right to information in a Europe fighting terror},
  year         = {2011},
}