On 3 February 2010, Angus McCullough was one of three special advocates who gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) on the functioning of the special advocate system. The JCHR is considering counter-terrorism and human rights, in particular in relation to terrorist control orders, as Parliament is about to consider renewal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. That Act provides for the existing system of control orders.
Control orders are a controversial legislative measure, provided by the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. Angus McCullough is an experienced special advocate, and has acted in this role for many terrorist suspects, including those subjected to control orders. The role of the special advocate is to represent the interests of the person affected in relation to secret material which that person is prevented from seeing. The House of Lords decision in AF and others, radically affected the operation of the control order system, with it being held that a core irreducible level of disclosure was required in order for standards of fairness sufficient to meet the standard required by Article 6 of the ECHR. The JCHR is reporting to Parliament prior to its consideration of renewal of the 2005 Act.
The JCHR’s report was published on 26 February 2010. It is available, including the special advocates’ evidence, here.