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R (Hilal Abdul-Razzaq Ali Al-Jedda) v Secretary of State for Defence

British forces in Iraq could, where it was necessary for imperative reasons of security, lawfully exercise the power to detain authorised by the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, but had to ensure that the detainee’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art 5 were not infringed to any greater extent than was inherent in such detention.

8 January 2008

J, who since October 2004 had been held in custody by British troops at detention facilities in Iraq, appealed against a decision that his detention did not infringe his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art 5(1). J had been detained on the ground that his internment was necessary for imperative reasons of security. He was suspected of being a member of a terrorist group involved in weapons smuggling and explosive attacks in Iraq. The issues were (i) whether J’s detention was, by reason of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, attributable to the UN and therefore outside the scope of the Convention; (ii) whether the UK became subject to an "obligation" within the meaning of the UN Charter Art 103 to detain J and, if so, whether and to what extent such obligation displaced or qualified J’s rights under Art 5(1) of the Convention; (iii) whether English common law or Iraqi law applied to J’s detention.

HELD: Appeal dismissed, (Lord Rodger dis...

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