Detention without charge to be cut from 28-days to 14-days

It’s long been a Liberal Democrat demand, and it was in the party’s 2010 manifesto, so good news that detention without charge is set to fall back to 14-days. The current 28-days limit expires on Monday and today the government has confirmed that it will not be trying to renew the limit. The 28-day increase was brought in by the then Labour government in 2006.

The BBC adds:

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, who campaigned to reinstate the 14-day limit, said the move would speed up the justice system. “If the time frame is longer I’m afraid that there is less pressure to get together the evidence that is required,” he said.

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  • *Insert ‘x doesn’t matter because LD are doomed with Clegg and co…people will never forget betrayal…tories are terrible…so what if this is a good thing, they don’t count because of y…LDs=tory…’ comment here *

    Seriously though, this is, hopefully, some unambiguously good news for a change. For the country more than the LDs, though them too. Some would say 14 days is still too high, but it is far better than what was in place.

  • Apologies all around for part 1 of my first post; headache, bad mood, posting remorse. Curse the lack of a preview button, and never post in irritation, eh? I’ll live and learn.

    Still, 14 days is good, right?

  • A small step in the right direction. If the Lid dem part of the conservative led coalition is really going to press on the civil liberties agenda why do they not campaign to get rid of ‘Kettleing’ the false imprisonment of a large number of (largely) law abiding protesters ?

    This is a serious point and I would be interested as to what those still in the party really think ?

  • You can go free after 14 days but not go anywhere with thick walls!!

  • The test for the government will come when terrorists mount their next attack and we have a load of limbless torsos scattered about UK streets.

    I think the figures of those held beyond 14 days in recent times is virtually zilch so Cameron and May were prepared to swallow this ‘reduction’ but of course they have kept the right to go straight back to 28 days in an ’emergency’ with the approval of MPs which I predict would be automatic.

    It will be interesting to see the details of the security review next week.

  • Foregone Conclusion 20th Jan '11 - 11:10pm

    John Fraser – I believe that there’s a kettling motion going to Spring Conference. I’ve seen the wording, and it’s fairly unambiguous in its condemnation.

  • TheContinentalOp 20th Jan '11 - 11:30pm

    A definite step in the right direction and credit isdue to those who have pushed this issue for some time. I hope this policy in future is directed by what is right and, unlike under New Labour, what pleased the tabloids.

  • @ Foregone Conclusion
    Well done to the proposers . Do you know who they are ?

    I wonder if any government ministers or MPs will show any support ??

  • john stevens 21st Jan '11 - 5:10am

    It is sad to see 14 days now regarded as a victory. We fought a civil war for Habeus Corpus. Anything more than 24 hours before going before a court of law is incompatible with a free society. I thought most liberals accepted that.

  • I think we do John Stevens – but as people have said above, it is a step in the right direction. Would a majority Tory government have made this decision? Unlikely.

  • We should be cautious. The government still intends to retain the power to extend the maximum limit to 28 days in ‘exceptional circumstances’. Not sure this is much of a victory at all.

  • On the issue of ‘kettling’ I think the problem in actually doing anything about it is that government ministers will state it is an operational matter for the police.

    I find it hard to see any way round that no matter what political resolutions are passed.

  • john stevens 21st Jan '11 - 10:46am

    Perhaps tonyhill can tell me how many cases there have actually been of detention longer than fourteen days? This is pure spin without substance. Be a campaigner not an apologist. Incidentally I think there are more Tory MPs who agree with me than there are LDs on this. Labour, of course, remains the party of strong state security power.

  • @Matthew Lambert
    11 people have been held longer than 14 days. 6 people have been held for 28 days. Of these 6 only 3 were charged. No -one has been held longer than 14 days since July 2007.

  • I think the comment from EcoJon regarding the influence of a terrorist attack is an interesting one.

    I am in no way excusing the Labour decisions but they were driven by events and the need ‘to be seen doing something’. The Labour party have always been vulnerable on defence/security which is why I think they tend to the draconian side.

    There has been no major attack since July 2007 and so the focus is off security. Long may this continue but I will hold judgement on the civil liberties credentials of the Coalition until more pressure is on them. I have never thought of the Tories being big on civil liberties in the past so I have concerns.

    A good decision but in effect quite an easy one to make at the moment

  • John p Reid 23rd Jan '11 - 9:39pm

    there was a thwarted attack in june 2008

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