It is depressing that some politicians are using the Abu Qatada case to denigrate our system for protecting human rights when we should be thankful that it has shown the high value the system places on justice and acceptance that use of evidence procured by torture is a denial of justice.
In forcing a reluctant government to achieve its objective of deportation consistently with upholding this value, the system works exactly as it should. One would have thought that a Secretary of State who holds a brief for ‘Justice’ would praise and defend it against critics who complain that it makes it more difficult for governments to take executive action that they deem most convenient. Shockingly, he has done the opposite.
John Eekelaar is a Fellow of the British Academy and Co-Director of the Oxford Centre for Family Law and Policy. A copy of this letter appeared in The Independent on 10 July 2013.