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Temporary Restrictions on Travel: How the United Kingdom deals with foreign fighters and how it affects the individual's Human Rights

Gehlin, Sofia LU (2015) JURM02 20151
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I februari 2015 antog det Brittiska parlamentet the Counter-Terrorism and
Security Act 2015, i syfte att fylla ut luckor i den tidigare kontra-terror
lagstiftningen. De temporära reseförbud som därmed infördes riktas mot det
tilltagande problemet med så kallade foreign fighters och består av två delar.
Befogenheten att beslagta och kvarhålla pass och andra resedokument ger en
gränskontrollerande tjänsteman friheten att bestämma om det föreligger
skälig grund att misstänka att personen ifråga har för avsikt att resa utanför
Storbritannien för att delta i terrorismrelaterad verksamhet. I en sådan
situation har tjänstemannen tillåtelse att beslagta passet och/eller
resedokumenten och, efter tillstånd av en polistjänsteman av högre... (More)
I februari 2015 antog det Brittiska parlamentet the Counter-Terrorism and
Security Act 2015, i syfte att fylla ut luckor i den tidigare kontra-terror
lagstiftningen. De temporära reseförbud som därmed infördes riktas mot det
tilltagande problemet med så kallade foreign fighters och består av två delar.
Befogenheten att beslagta och kvarhålla pass och andra resedokument ger en
gränskontrollerande tjänsteman friheten att bestämma om det föreligger
skälig grund att misstänka att personen ifråga har för avsikt att resa utanför
Storbritannien för att delta i terrorismrelaterad verksamhet. I en sådan
situation har tjänstemannen tillåtelse att beslagta passet och/eller
resedokumenten och, efter tillstånd av en polistjänsteman av högre rang,
kvarhålla dem. Den andra delen aktiveras när en person befinner sig utanför
Storbritannien och Secretary of State (den minister som har det
övergripande ansvaret för säkerhet och terrorism, lagstiftning och
budgetfrågor) anser att det finns skälig anledning att misstänka att personen
är, eller har varit, delaktig i terrorismrelaterad verksamhet. Secretary of
State kan då söka tillstånd hos en domstol om att få ålägga individen en
temporär exkluderingsorder. Domstolen är skyldig att ge tillstånd, såvida
inte de beslut Secretary of State har fattat är uppenbart felaktiga. Till följd
av detta förbjuds individen att återvända till Storbritannien, oavsett om det
är en Brittisk medborgare eller inte.
För den händelse att andra länder följer Storbritannien och introducerar nya
kontra-terror åtgärder för att förhindra människor från att resa utomlands för
att delta i terrorism, är det nödvändigt att granska vilka konsekvenser för
mänskliga rättigheter dessa åtgärder medför.
I den här uppsatsen argumenterar jag för att de temporära reseförbuden är
straffrättsliga till sin natur, även om de i det inhemska rättssystemet
klassificeras som administrativa åtgärder. Europadomstolen för mänskliga
rättigheter fastställde i sitt avgörande i Engel med flera mot Nederländerna
tre kriterier för att avgöra den de facto karaktären på nationella
bestämmelser så som de ska tolkas inom ramen för Europakonventionen för
mänskliga rättigheter: den nationella klassificeringen, brottets beskaffenhet
och straffets allvarlighet. Genom tillämpning av dessa kriterier på de
temporära reseförbuden, visar min analys att utövandet av befogenheterna
innebär ett åläggande av en straffrättslig sanktion, särskilt med beaktande av
de allvarliga intrång i individens mänskliga rättigheter som de orsakar.
Att betrakta lagrum som straffrättsliga, i motsats till administrativa, ställer
krav på att inkludera processuella skyddsmekanismer som är lämpliga för
den straffrättsliga standarden. Det grundläggande skyddet i detta hänseende
är rätten till en rättvis rättegång i Europakonventionens artikel 6. För att
användningen av de temporära reseförbuden ska vara laglig måste en
godtycklig tillämpning undvikas, vilket kräver en adekvat rättslig
granskning. Min analys visar att lagen saknar tillräckliga skyddsmekanismer
vilket medför en nackdel för den berörda individen, något jag menar beror
på valet att betrakta åtgärderna som administrativa. (Less)
Abstract
In February 2015 the British Parliament adopted the Counter-Terrorism and
Security Act 2015 for the purpose of filling gaps in the previous counterterrorism legislations. The temporary restriction on travel measures thus introduced, target the increasing problem with so-called foreign fighters and consist of two elements. The power to seize and retain passports and/or
travel documents entrusts a port constable the discretion to decide whether
there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an individual intends to leave
the United Kingdom for engaging in terrorism-related activity while being
abroad. In such event, the constable is permitted to seize the passport and/or
travel documents, and on authorization from a senior police... (More)
In February 2015 the British Parliament adopted the Counter-Terrorism and
Security Act 2015 for the purpose of filling gaps in the previous counterterrorism legislations. The temporary restriction on travel measures thus introduced, target the increasing problem with so-called foreign fighters and consist of two elements. The power to seize and retain passports and/or
travel documents entrusts a port constable the discretion to decide whether
there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an individual intends to leave
the United Kingdom for engaging in terrorism-related activity while being
abroad. In such event, the constable is permitted to seize the passport and/or
travel documents, and on authorization from a senior police officer, retain
them. The second element is triggered when a person is outside the UK and
the Secretary of State considers there are reasonable grounds to suspect that
the person is, or has been, involved in terrorism-related activity. The
Secretary of State may then seek permission from a court to impose a
Temporary Exclusion Order upon the individual. The court is obliged to
give permission, unless the decisions taken by the Secretary of State are
obviously flawed, which results in the person being prohibited from
returning to the UK, regardless of whether the affected individual is a UK
citizen or not.
In the event of other States following the UK in introducing new counterterrorism measures to prevent people from travelling abroad to participate in terrorism, it is vital to assess the human rights implications these measures bring.
In this thesis, I argue that the temporary restriction on travel measures are
criminal in nature although in the domestic legal order they are classified as
administrative powers. The European Court of Human Rights established in
its judgment in Engel and Others v the Netherlands three criteria for
determining the de facto character of domestic provisions as they should be
understood within the meaning of the European Convention on Human
Rights: the label in national law, the nature of the offence and the severity of the penalty. In applying these criteria to the temporary restrictions on travel, my analysis shows that the use of these powers amounts to an imposition of a criminal sanction, in particular due to the severe intrusions with the
affected individual’s human rights and liberties they cause.
To consider a provision criminal in nature, as opposed to administrative,
renders the need to include procedural safeguards appropriate for criminal
law standards. The fundamental protection in this respect is the right to a
fair trial codified in ECHR, article 6. For the use of the temporary
restrictions on travel measures to be lawful, adequate judicial review is
crucial in order to protect from an arbitrary application. As my analysis
reveals, the Act lacks sufficient safeguards to the detriment of the targeted
individual, which I contend is due to the choice to regard the provisions as
containing administrative powers. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Gehlin, Sofia LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20151
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Public International Law, Criminal Law, Human Rights
language
English
id
5434188
date added to LUP
2015-06-18 10:49:23
date last changed
2015-06-18 10:49:23
@misc{5434188,
  abstract     = {In February 2015 the British Parliament adopted the Counter-Terrorism and
Security Act 2015 for the purpose of filling gaps in the previous counterterrorism legislations. The temporary restriction on travel measures thus introduced, target the increasing problem with so-called foreign fighters and consist of two elements. The power to seize and retain passports and/or
travel documents entrusts a port constable the discretion to decide whether
there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an individual intends to leave
the United Kingdom for engaging in terrorism-related activity while being
abroad. In such event, the constable is permitted to seize the passport and/or
travel documents, and on authorization from a senior police officer, retain
them. The second element is triggered when a person is outside the UK and
the Secretary of State considers there are reasonable grounds to suspect that
the person is, or has been, involved in terrorism-related activity. The
Secretary of State may then seek permission from a court to impose a
Temporary Exclusion Order upon the individual. The court is obliged to
give permission, unless the decisions taken by the Secretary of State are
obviously flawed, which results in the person being prohibited from
returning to the UK, regardless of whether the affected individual is a UK
citizen or not.
In the event of other States following the UK in introducing new counterterrorism measures to prevent people from travelling abroad to participate in terrorism, it is vital to assess the human rights implications these measures bring.
In this thesis, I argue that the temporary restriction on travel measures are
criminal in nature although in the domestic legal order they are classified as
administrative powers. The European Court of Human Rights established in
its judgment in Engel and Others v the Netherlands three criteria for
determining the de facto character of domestic provisions as they should be
understood within the meaning of the European Convention on Human
Rights: the label in national law, the nature of the offence and the severity of the penalty. In applying these criteria to the temporary restrictions on travel, my analysis shows that the use of these powers amounts to an imposition of a criminal sanction, in particular due to the severe intrusions with the
affected individual’s human rights and liberties they cause.
To consider a provision criminal in nature, as opposed to administrative,
renders the need to include procedural safeguards appropriate for criminal
law standards. The fundamental protection in this respect is the right to a
fair trial codified in ECHR, article 6. For the use of the temporary
restrictions on travel measures to be lawful, adequate judicial review is
crucial in order to protect from an arbitrary application. As my analysis
reveals, the Act lacks sufficient safeguards to the detriment of the targeted
individual, which I contend is due to the choice to regard the provisions as
containing administrative powers.},
  author       = {Gehlin, Sofia},
  keyword      = {Public International Law,Criminal Law,Human Rights},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Temporary Restrictions on Travel: How the United Kingdom deals with foreign fighters and how it affects the individual's Human Rights},
  year         = {2015},
}