The UK Human Rights blog reviewed CRG Murray’s article “The Ripple Effect: Guantanamo Bay in the United Kingdom Courts.” Murray analyzes British case law resulting from claims made by people who had been held at Guantanamo.
The human rights abuses suffered by detainees held at Guantánamo Bay have dominated many of the cases before the United Kingdom’s courts. The Human Rights Act of 1998, still relatively new to the statute book, played a central role in the detainees’ arguments. The ultimate court decisions, however, often relegate such factors to the background of the case. This article examines why the deciding courts declined to develop the law of diplomatic protection on the basis of human rights concerns, and why such arguments continue to be employed by detainees. Furthermore, the article assesses why the English courts have shown greater receptiveness to arguments similarly grounded in accusations of inhuman and degrading treatment in relation to later cases involving former detainees challenging the role of the British Government in their detention.