UK Liberty

Comparison of pre-charge detention periods around the world

Posted in detention without charge, law and order by ukliberty on November 15, 2007

Liberty Human Rights

12 Nov 2007

The human rights group Liberty today releases a comprehensive study of terrorist pre-charge detention powers in 15 countries, including the United States, Spain, Russia, France and Turkey.

Contrary to some misleading reports of investigations in Italy, Italian law only permits pre-charge detention for a maximum of four days. The study, based on advice and assistance from lawyers and academics around the world, demonstrates that the existing 28-day limit already far exceeds equivalent limits in other comparable democracies.

The US constitution limits pre-charge detention to 48 hours, the closest equivalent to pre-charge detention in Spain is limited to five days and Turkish criminal law only permits 7.5 days’ detention before charge. Detaining people for over a month without charge would inevitably lead to injustice, would undermine our ability to fight terrorism by winning hearts and minds and would fly in the face of the British tradition of liberty and justice. This report presents further evidence that this dangerous and potentially counter-productive step is unnecessary.

(this blog is not associated with that group).

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One Response

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  1. […] But sometimes useful, particularly when we look at countries with similar legal systems and similar concerns about terrorism where the period of detention has not been extended to anything like 28 days. It begs the questions: […]


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