Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Grayling calls for 'major' overhaul of human rights law

There is a pressing need for "major changes" in the way human rights law works in the UK, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said, after terror suspect Abu Qatada was released on bail.

At his departmental question session on 13 September 2012, Mr Grayling backed Home Secretary Theresa May's decision to appeal against a Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) ruling that Qatada could not be deported to Jordan to stand trial for terrorism offences.

Siac decided that witness evidence obtained by torture might be used at Qatada's trial in Jordan, but the government believes the wrong legal test was applied and is to appeal.

Mr Grayling said the European convention on human rights, codified in the UK with the 1998 Human Rights Act, was not intended to help "people who have an avowed intent to damage this country".

"All of us believe the law should not operate in this way and this case underlines my view that there is a very real need for major changes to the way the European human rights framework operates," he said.

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