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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 July, 2004, 05:36 GMT 06:36 UK
Woolf's warning over human rights
Lord Woolf
Lord Woolf has expressed his views on several occasions
Britain's top judge has warned that courts must remain "vigilant" to prevent state anti-terrorism measures unlawfully infringing human rights.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf said the system of justice was "particularly important" when there were so many security precautions.

The judiciary had to be vigilant that measures accorded with the law.

In the past Lord Woolf has also warned about the government's constitutional reforms and changes to asylum rules.

In a speech on Wednesday he said: "The judiciary has at all times to be vigilant to ensure that action which the state takes to protect its citizens as a whole only interferes with the rights of the individual where that interference is in accordance with the law."

Criticism

Any moves to combat terrorism must be proportional and match UK "values".

Lord Woolf stopped short of mentioning specific areas of concern but the government has faced legal challenges over powers that allow foreign terror suspects to be held without trial and over the detention of people at Guantanamo Bay.

Police meanwhile have been criticised for using counter-terrorism power to stop-and-search people.

Lord Woolf made his latest comments at the Lord Mayor of London's annual banquet for judges.

In the past he has warned that some crimes were now being treated as so serious that suspects did "not deserve the protection that the courts have always provided".




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