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Row over rights law.

Ministers are considering legislation instructing judges how to interpret the Human Rights Act if they try to block the Government's new deportation policy.

Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said he was looking at the possibility of introducing a Bill to clarify the legal position.

Officials in the Department for Constitutional Affairs confirmed it could force judges to give equal weight in their assessment of such cases to the interests of state security and the rights of the individual facing deportation.

"What I am talking about is a Bill which says this is the correct interpretation of the Human Rights Act," Lord Falconer said.

He said that it was "the sensible way" of staying inside the European Convention on Human Rights while having an effective policy on deportation.

It follows warnings from human rights lawyers that plans to deport Islamic extremists to countries where they could face torture would breach the European Convention on Human Rights which is enshrined in the Act.

Meanwhile, legal battles to deport 10 terror suspects including one described as "al Qaeda's ambassador to Europe" are under way today as human rights lawyers prepare to clash with the Government.

The 10 were rounded up and detained yesterday after ministers finalised agreements which could allow them to be deported to countries which have poor human rights records.

A ground-breaking deal between the Home Office and Jordan is designed to guarantee deportees will not be killed or tortured on their return.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 12, 2005
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