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The APPG publishes a Legal Opinion on detainee handovers by UK Forces, prepared by Michael Fordham QC and Tom Hickman, barristers at Blackstone Chambers specialising in human rights law, on instruction from solicitors Michael Davison and Emma Colquhoun, at the law firm Lovells LLP. The Opinion makes clear that any assurances given by the US authorities that an individual handed over by UK forces to the US authorities would not be mistreated or unlawfully rendered, would not absolve the UK government of the obligation to examine whether the assurances provide a sufficient guarantee that the individual will be protected against the risk of ill-treatment. Importantly, the Legal Opinion highlights 'specific concerns about the legality of the UK having accepted such assurances' from the US.
The APPG publishes a briefing note prepared by the United Nations Association of the UK, on the UN System and Extraordinary Rendition. The note addresses relevant international law prohibitions on rendition and opportunities for redress under the UN system.
On 3 July 2008 the Foreign Secretary published the list of flights the FCO had sent to the US Administration for specific assurances that they were not involved in rendition operations at the time of their transit through UK airspace. This list of 391 flights was sent to the US following the revelation that two rendition flights had used the British island of Diego Garcia.
The APPG published its Annual Review for 2007. The review covers the publication of the ISC Report into Rendition; the Westminster Hall Debate on Rendition; the publication of the APPG's proposed measures on legislative reform; changes in the Government's policy on record keeping; submissions to and collaboration with the FAC, US Committees, the Council of Europe, and the European Parliament; and the release of Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna from Guantanamo Bay.
Reprieve submission to the Foreign Affairs Committee entitled: 'Enforced Disappearance, Illegal Interstate Transfer, and Other Human Rights Abuses Involving the UK Overseas Territories', October 2007.
The APPG spearheaded the development of legal measures to address rendition. Working with key actors in an Expert Working group draft measures were finalised, published, and provided to the Foreign Office (FCO). The FCO is currently considering these proposals.
SMOKE AND MIRRORS REMAIN INTELLIGENCE SECURITY COMMITTEE REPORT DOES NOT END CONCERNS OVER TORTURE, RENDITIONS AND THE RULE OF LAW – POSITIVE OBLIGATION TO RESPOND TO ‘EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS’ REMAINS 30 July 2007 On 17 July 2007 REDRESS submitted a Memorandum on Rendition to the UK Government calling on it, inter alia, to take specific positive steps to ensure that it abides by its national and international law obligations to prevent torture and cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment.
TIME TO END THE SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Positive Obligations to Respond to “Extraordinary Renditions” Memorandum to the UK Government, July 2007
1 UK position on ‘extraordinary rendition’ – see no evil, ask no evil, hear no evil?
2 Council of Europe recommendations fall on deaf ears?
2 Need for accountability and scrutiny
4 Need for a public inquiry: ambit and scope
6 Summary of Recommendations
Human Rights Watch wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport in support of the APPG's draft measures for legislative reform on rendition.
Justice wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport in support of the APPG's draft measures for legislative reform on rendition.