A judgment was handed down on Wednesday that raises further questions about the legality of some aspects of David Miranda's detention at Heathrow in August. I have been mulling the contents of the David Miranda judicial review hearing, and should have a blog post on it soon, but in the interim I want to look at the potential bearing that judgment, Elosta v Commissioner of the Met, has on the facts of Miranda's case as we (I) know them.
Essentially, it affirms the right of someone being detained under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to consult a solicitor before being interviewed, face-to-face and in private. None of these are particularly controversial (and the Met Commissioner conceded and apologized for the fact that Mr. Elosta was not given privacy to talk to his solicitor over the phone), but this is Schedule 7 we are talking about here, and this is also the Met. It was the Met's position that someone being detained under Schedule 7 at a place other than a police station did not have the right to consult a solicitor, and if they did they were only to do so under conditions dictated by the police. To be fair to them, this is what a straight reading of the legislation could imply, but one that was sensibly rejected by Mr. Justice Bean.
Looking again at the details of the Miranda detention, and reading it along with the judgment in Elosta, it seems to me that much of the questioning of Miranda was probably unlawful.
Read more »