As part of the formal assessment for the programme you are required to submit a Civil Liberties & Human Rights assignment. Please refer to your Student Handbook for full details of the programme assessment scheme and general information on preparing and submitting assignments.
After completing the module you should be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles of civil liberties and human rights and identify key criticisms of the operation of the legal framework
2. Show a critical awareness of the impact of the HRA 1998
3. Analyse problem based scenarios, identify and apply relevant legal principles to reach a logical conclusion
4. Conduct independent research using appropriate learning strategies.
Your assignment should include: a title page containing your student number, the module name, the submission deadline and a word count; the appendices if relevant; and a reference list in the correct format. You should address all the elements of the assignment task listed below. Please note that tutors will use the assessment criteria set out below in assessing your work.
Maximum word count: 4000 words
Please note that exceeding the word count by over 10% will result in a reduction in grade by the same percentage that the word count is exceeded.
You must not include your name in your submission because Arden University operates anonymous marking, which means that markers should not be aware of the identity of the student. However, please do not forget to include your STU number.
This assessment is in two parts – you must answer both parts;
Question 1 - Problem Question
Alexander is seeking legal advice on two matters.
Alexander would like to question the actions of a police officer. Whilst Alexander had a history of theft convictions, he had never been connected to terrorist activities. Nevertheless, upon the occurrence of an explosion in a London pub, at which Alexander was a regular visitor, Police Officer Smith searched Alexander in connection with a suspected terrorist explosion. Police Office Smith defended his decision to search Alexander, on the basis that CCTV footage showed Alexander looking nervous prior to the explosion. Upon searching Alexander, Police Officer Smith found a wallet, which belonged to a Mrs. Harriet Reed. To find this, Police Officer Smith had required Alexander to remove his shirt. The search took place in a public place.
After contacting the station and confirming the wallet as stolen, Police Officer Smith arrested Alexander. Police Officer Smith at this point did not inform Alexander that he was under arrest. At the police station, the staff neither allowed Alexander to contact a lawyer, nor make a personal phone call. After being detained for four days, without questioning, Alexander asked a guard why he was still being detained. It was at this point that the Police Officer on duty, Police Officer Cane, informed Alexander that he was being detained on suspicion of terrorism. Alexander was released ten days later. Upon release he was placed under house arrest in accordance with the recently passed (fictitious) Protection Against Terrorism Act 2015.
Alexander wishes to challenge the legality of his house arrest under (fictitious) Protection Against Terrorism Act 2015.
“The Home Secretary to detain within their own home, under any conditions deemed required, any individual for an indefinite period of time, whom it is believed is involved within any terrorist activity.”
Further to this, s11 reads:
“If the Home Secretary does not believe it necessary, no trial is required to enforce s10.”
There is, however, an exception to s11, whereby s12 declares:
“The power outlined in s11 can only be applied against those born outside of the United Kingdom. All British citizens placed under s10 ‘house arrest’ must face trial within thirty days, or the house arrest will cease.”
S13 states that the United Kingdom acknowledges that in order to execute this power, they must, and do, issue a derogation order under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The conditions of Alexander’s house arrest are onerous. Alexander is to remain in his house for 23 hours per a day, receive no visitors, and cannot have access to any mode of communication. For example, his phone has been cut, he has no access to the internet, and his television has been disconnected. Furthermore, because Alexander is Australian, the Home Secretary has decided that s11 applies, as Alexander is not a citizen of the
Advise Alexander on whether he should challenge the legality of his search, arrest and ‘house arrest’. Your answer should be fully supported by reasons, relevant case law and legislation.
Question 2 - Essay Question
Using case law, legislation and secondary commentary in your answer, critically discuss the extent to which it can be said that in the United Kingdom individuals have an absolute right to free expression.