Law Soc win leave to intervene in torture evidence case

The Law Society has been given leave to make representations to the Law Lords when they hear an appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling that found evidence obtained by torture is admissible in British courts.

The case, A & 9 ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department, was heard in the Court of Appeal last year. The appellants are 10 foreign nationals detained in the UK without charge or trial.

The Court of Appeal panel of Lords Justices Pill, Laws and Neuberger, dismissed the appeal. However, Neuberger LJ dissented on the question of whether evidence obtained through torture should be admissable in Britain.

In October, the Law Lords will hear the case. As well as the Law Society, 13 other organisations will be intervening in support of the appeal. They are: the AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe), Amnesty International Ltd, the Association for the Prevention of Torture, British Irish Rights Watch, the Committee on the Administration of Justice, Doctors for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, The International Federation of Human Rights, Interights, Liberty, the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, Redress and the World Organisation Against Torture.

Law Society president Edward Nally said the Court of Appeal ruling set a dangerous precedent, and that torture is more likely to take place if evidence obtained by torture is admitted in court.

The Law Society has instructed Leigh Day & Co and Doughty Street Chambers’ Keir Starmer QC for the intervention.