Nick Cohen in the Observer today
Ben Ward of Human Rights Watch says that as things stand, detention for the current 28 days is probably in breach of the European convention and 42 days would be in open defiance of it. But as Human Rights Watch is the first to point out, the idea that Britain is out of step with liberal Europe is a myth.
Britain won't deport foreign terror suspects with no legal right to be in this country because they may be tortured when they reach their home. The French aren't so scrupulous. A typical recent case was that of Abdelkader Bouziane, whom French intelligence accused of inspiring terrorists and delivering anti-semitic and anti-Christian sermons. If he had been a British resident, he would have had to remain in the country. The French authorities put him on a plane to Algeria, and when the judiciary complained, the law was changed to make deportations easier.True, France, like other European countries, doesn't hold terror suspects without charge for as long as Britain, but the difference is more apparent than real. Under Napoleonic law, an investigating magistrate directs police to send a defendant to prison to await trial - a wait that can last years.