UK Court Invalidates Terrorist Asset Freezing
Today, the UK’s high court invalidated the country’s asset freezing regime against terrorists, ruling it to be unconstitutional.
The ruling has been described as devastating to the UK’s strategy against terrorism. It was based on the court finding that the UK government could not simply implement UN Security Council resolutions directly, but had to go to Parliament first to get them authorized.
One presumes, however, that if the PM wants to free assets of suspected terrorists his party, which definitionally controls the House of Commons, would back his play. Presumably, too, Parliament could pass legislation setting forth the parameters by which Cabinet ministers could issue should orders on their own initiative.
No doubt, there are plenty of times when law enforcement needs to act quickly against terrorists even more so than against ordinary violent criminals. It’s far from clear, though, why this would apply to asset forfeiture.
Graphic via International Institute for Counter-Terrorism