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The Civil Liberties Trust


Annual Review
protecting civil liberties promoting human rights


Shami Chakrabarti by Christopher Cox I took over from John Wadham in September knowing that his was going to be a hard act to follow but, I don’t think, fully realising the enormity of the task facing us all. I had only been in post a few weeks when our lawyers were contacted by protesters involved in a peaceful lobby of an arms fair being held in London’s Docklands. They had been served with section 44 notices under the Terrorism Act and told, in effect, that they had lost their right to protest. We subsequently discovered that the whole of the Metropolitan Police area had been designated as an area where police could use anti-terrorism powers to stop, search and disperse people. As our founder did in 1934, Liberty sent teams of legal observers to monitor demonstrations. We also sought a Judicial Review of the police use of the powers in Docklands. We lost our case but won the right to appeal and, significantly, a ruling there was genuine concern that the powers were being used not to combat terrorism, but suppress legitimate protest. 2003 saw new threats to privacy from the Government and private sector, the undermining of fair trial rights, and vulnerable asylum seekers made destitute by unjust new laws. It saw the second anniversary of the detention, without charge or trial, of terrorist suspects in high security jails in the UK. But there was also cause for celebration. Liberty welcomed reforms assuring the equal rights of transpeople; and proposals to allow same-sex partners the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples. Both the result of decades of campaigning and lobbying – not least by Liberty – it was heartening to have something to welcome in a time when our fundamental freedoms and rights are under such sustained attack. Liberty and the Civil Liberties Trust remain dependent on all those who give their time, money, and expertise so generously. This includes the thousands of members, the many excellent volunteers, the staff and Directors. We are indebted to the many trusts and foundations which support our charitable work, the generosity of individuals, and those who remembered our work in their wills. Thank you all.

What are Liberty and the Civil Liberties Trust? Education, Advice, Training and Research Successes and Challenges Financial Reports 2003 in Numbers Who we are 1 2&3 4&5 6&7 8 8
protecting civil liberties

Shami Chakrabarti Director of Liberty and the Civil Liberties Trust


WhatLiberty? is
Liberty believes in a society based on the democratic participation of all its members and on the principles of justice, openness, the right to dissent and respect for diversity. Accordingly we aim to secure the equal rights and liberties of everyone (insofar as they do not infringe on the rights and liberties of others) and oppose any abuse of excessive use of power by the state against its people. We also recognise that the erosion of civil liberties often begins with attacks on the rights of those who are marginalised within society – such attacks undermine the rights of us all. Liberty pursues its mission by: • Public campaigning and parliamentary lobbying • Legal advice, education and test cases • Research and policy development

WhatThe Civil Liberties Trust? is
The Civil Liberties Trust provides legal advice, education and research into human rights and civil liberties issues. It works in parallel with Liberty and is based in the same building. The Trust does not employ staff but pursues its objectives by funding Liberty to carry out specifically charitable work. Most of the Trust’s direct charitable expenditure is represented by grants to Liberty to fund work in the areas of information, research, publications, advice and legal services.

The Civil Liberties Trust’s objects are:
• The promotion of domestic human rights including the elimination of the infringement of those rights and the promoting of effective remedies following any breach, for the benefit of the public. • The provision of legal advice, assistance and representation on human rights and civil liberties to those unable to pay for it. • The provision of educational material and information on civil liberties and human rights. • The undertaking and promotion of research into civil liberties and human rights.



Since the first advice work in 1970, Liberty has established itself as an important source of help for people who need advice about their rights. In 2003 Liberty’s telephone and written advice services were funded by the City Parochial Foundation and the Association of London Government.

Legal Advice Line
Liberty’s legal advice line provides free advice to those who believe their human rights or civil liberties have been breached. The line is open for six hours a week, offering advice on subjects from workplace surveillance to complaints against the police. The line is supervised by Liberty’s legal team and staffed by volunteer solicitors and barristers who generously give their time and expertise. The demand for this service is extremely high - in 2003 we received nearly 3000 calls for advice. In December 2003, the advice line was awarded the Community Legal Service Quality Mark.

Your Rights - Website and Book
Liberty’s online guide to human rights and civil liberties,, continues to draw many individuals seeking information and advice about their rights. This site provides comprehensive information on rights and freedoms, with particular attention to the effect of the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights under the Human Rights Act 1998. The website is fully accessible and includes a forum where members can share ideas and find practical solutions to common problems. Those in need of more detailed advice can send us their query through a secure, online form. In 2003 around 300 people visited the site each day and the online forum had over 150 members. In December 2003 the website was awarded a Community Legal Service Quality Mark for Websites. The website and YourRights tailored email advice service is supported by the Community Fund, and is an excellent resource for the public and advisers alike. Work on the eighth edition of Liberty’s Guide to Your Rights began in 2003, and will be published in August 2004. This new

Written Advice
In 2003, Liberty received nearly 4000 written requests for advice and assistance – submitted by post, e-mail and through use of our online query form. The queries give us an insight into the issues and problems concerning members of the public and are an important source of potential test cases. In order to deal with such a large number of queries, our Advice and Information Officers are assisted by a number of volunteers who carry out research and draft responses.

Deaths in Custody - reform and redress was published at the end of a year long research project. The testimony of families who have struggled with an opaque and inadequate process of investigation and remedy contributed to the demand for reform. The report, funded by the Nuffield Foundation and commissioned by the Civil Liberties Trust, laid out the flaws in the current system of investigation and made key recommendations for change. Liberty represented the families of several men who have died in custody: Christopher Alder’s death in 1998 led – after a lengthy fight – to the prosecution of five police officers. The trial collapsed in 2002. The case is now bound for the European Court; in April the police re-opened disciplinary proceedings against five officers. Christopher Edwards’ death and his parents' eight-year battle for the truth culminated in an historic European Court victory, when the UK was found to be in breach of its Article 2 duty to protect Christopher's life and to investigate fully after his death. Liberty hopes this report will help achieve positive change and reduce the likelihood of experiences like that of the Alder and Edwards families from being repeated.

“The European Court ruled that Christopher had been denied his right to life and that we had been denied our right to both an effective investigation and a remedy... We trust that the Government is giving urgent thought to changing the nature of investigations to overcome the defects the Court found. This new Liberty report should be accepted as a valuable input into this process of review”.


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edition will include an overview of the Human Rights Act 1998, a guide to finding legal resources, and two new chapters. The contributors are expert lawyers who have generously donated their time and expertise. and advisers are fully equipped to represent their clients. Liberty is very grateful to the immigration team at Two Garden Court Chambers and Linklaters, respectively, for their expertise and support. In partnership with Rights of Women we ran a free human rights workshop for women working in small, community organisations. Women from all over the country came to learn how human rights are applicable to their lives and those they advise and support.

Advice and Training for Legal Advisers
Liberty, in partnership with the Public Law Project, operates a specialist advice service for solicitors and advisers. The Human Rights and Public Law Line provides immediate, expert guidance on human rights and public law problems. In 2003 our lawyers dealt with 354 different matters, helping legal advisers nationwide understand when and how to make a human rights claim for their clients. For the second year running Liberty’s lawyers provided in-house training, tailored to the needs of delegates. In 2003 they provided training in Anglesey, Bristol, Goole, London, Newcastle and Stocktonon-Tees. The advice and training service is funded by the Legal Services Commission.

For confidential, free, advice on human rights issues:

0845 123 2307
6.30pm – 8.30pm Monday and Thursday 12.30pm – 2.30pm Wednesday

HUMAN RIGHTS AND PUBLIC LAW LINE Training, Education and Outreach
In addition to the nationwide in-house human rights training provided by Liberty’s lawyers, we organised and participated in a range of training, education and outreach events. We continued to run our biannual updater on the human rights impact of asylum legislation, ensuring high street solicitors For specialist guidance on human rights and public law, for lawyers and advisers with Legal Services Commission contracts:

0808 808 4546
2pm – 5pm 10am – 1pm Monday and Wednesday Tuesday and Thursday

Promoting the Rights of Victims
The Rights of Victims - a Manifesto for Better Treatment of Victims in the Criminal Justice System considered the current framework of rights that exists for victims, and identified areas in which their needs are not being met. Published by the Civil Liberties Trust, it contains a series of recommendations outlining what can be done on a practical level without compromising the fundamental principles of our criminal justice system. With research conducted in collaboration with Victim Support, Liberty hopes that this report will help achieve fairer treatment of victims without sacrificing the rights of defendants.

Audrey Edwards, speaking at the launch of Liberty’s report into the investigation of deaths in custody.

Above: Janet Alder at the launch of Liberty’s report Deaths in Custody: Reform and Redress by Helen Atkinson



In 2003 we faced a number of new challenges and achieved some key successes. Here are just a few.

• Liberty welcomed proposals to give same-sex partners the same rights over pensions, inheritance tax, property, and social security benefits as married heterosexual couples. • Legal action by Liberty led to the Child Support Commissioners ruling that it is unlawful to treat a parent who is living with a partner of the same sex differently from one in a heterosexual relationship. • Following two landmark cases, Goodwin and I, in which Liberty intervened, we welcomed proposals to give transpeople equal rights. • A Liberty court victory led to proposals to create a voluntary register to enable contact to be made between adults conceived by sperm, egg and embryo donation and their natural parents. • •

• In partnership with refugee, asylum and housing organisations, Liberty mounted a swift and coordinated attack on the law which threatened to see thousands of people denied shelter and food, and facing a desperate situation in the middle of winter. By denying asylum seekers state support, in addition to forbidding them from working, the Government effectively forced them to beg, steal, prostitute themselves or die on Britain’s streets. Liberty argued that the new rule on benefits amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Following our intervention, with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the High Court found that it is potentially degrading to deny people both the right to work and any access to support. The system operated by the Government was deemed unfair, unjust and inflexible.

• In the European Court of Human Rights Liberty won a landmark legal case about privacy and CCTV. Footage of our distraught client with a knife (he was attempting suicide) had been shown on television, making no attempt to mask his identity. The Court ruled there had been a "serious interference" with his right to respect for his private life, and that there was a failure to take adequate steps to protect his interests. This significant judgment emphasises the obligation of CCTV operators to protect the interests of people that are filmed. • The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary joined forces to argue for the introduction of a national ID card. Both claimed that the introduction of such a card would help in the ‘war on terrorism’, as, indeed, it would also help to combat illegal immigration, street crime, benefit fraud. There was evidence, • In 2003 the Government boasted that over two million people now have their DNA registered nationally. The process that began with the collection of samples from convicted criminals was extended to cover those charged with an offence and is now to include anyone, and everyone, questioned by the police in connection with an offence. Despite the obvious intent to create a national DNA database, the Government has shown a marked reluctance to engage in public debate on the issue. however, of a significant Cabinet opposition to their plans with a number of ministers concerned at the impact on civil liberties; the high cost of a scheme; and the implausibility of a card deterring a determined criminal. Liberty remains resolutely opposed to the introduction of a national identity card scheme.


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National Security
• Liberty took up the cause of 11-year-old Isabelle EllisCockcroft who had been stopped and searched by police using anti-terrorism powers. Isabelle was taking part, with her father, in an anti-war protest at an airbase in Gloucestershire. The case generated a great deal of media coverage and we published a pamphlet 'Casualty of War', detailing how the ‘section 44’ anti-terrorism powers were being used against peaceful protestors. • A similar action was brought on behalf of anti-arms trade protesters served with section 44 orders during a London Dockland's protest. Liberty received support from all the London mayoral candidates for highlighting the issue. The case was lost but we won the argument on costs and were granted the right to appeal. • Liberty was successfully involved in negotiations with the Metropolitan Police to ensure that peace protesters were not prevented from demonstrating against the visit of US President, George Bush. • Liberty took on the case of Katharine Gun, a • 2003 marked the second anniversary of the internment without trial of 14 terrorist suspects. We organised a wellattended public lecture by Gareth Peirce, the solicitor acting for many of the detainees; orchestrated a letter of protest by religious leaders, published in the Guardian; and lobbied the media to report on ‘Britain's Guantanamo Bay.’ 'whistleblower' who leaked an email memo sent to GCHQ in Cheltenham, where she worked as a translator. The email was written by American intelligence officials and asked Britain to bug the telephones of members of the United Nations’ Security Council in the lead-up to a crucial vote in the final fortnight before the war in Iraq began. 11 year old Isabelle Ellis-Cockcroft being issued with a Section 44 notice under the Terrorism Act 2000. By Dave Cockcroft

• In the name of protecting children, in future every infant born in the UK will be issued with an ‘individual reference number’. Liberty appreciates and supports the Government’s intention to improve child protection by creating a framework for information sharing, however remains concerned that so much information would be flowing to so many sources that children genuinely at risk might not be identified. • 2003 saw the emergence of ‘Radio Frequency Identification’ (RFID) as the new retailing buzz words. A number of large supermarkets are experimenting with the insertion of RFID tags onto goods. The tags transmit data such as identification or location information, or specifics about the product tagged (price, colour, date of purchase). Liberty expressed serious privacy concerns and was approached by retailers to discuss

if and how the technology could be used in a manner that did not compromise individual privacy. We received a similar approach from all of the major mobile phone networks to discuss the related issue of the tracking of individuals through their mobile phone use. • The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) was significantly amended in 2003 to dramatically increase the number of governmental organisations allowed to intercept and eavesdrop on phone calls and email, and to place ‘covert human intelligence sources’ (spies) in private companies and charities. Previously such covert surveillance was restricted to a limited number of public bodies, including the police and the intelligence services. Liberty expressed serious reservations about the extensions of the powers.



INCOME AND EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2003 2003 £ 357,571 227,863 218,045 5,813 809,292 2002 £ 491,250 215,326 293,785 8,065 1,008,426 INCOME Grants, donations and legacies Membership subscriptions Legal and other earned income Interest receivable

EXPENDITURE Project expenditure Legal work Training and events Membership and fundraising Campaigns and publicity Management and administration Total expenditure

246,784 163,032 21,504 201,038 124,801 214,980 972,139

339,037 165,545 23,853 169,252 56,947 225,013 979,647

BALANCE SHEET AT DECEMBER 31, 2003 Fixed assets Current assets Creditors Net assets Restricted funds Unrestricted funds: General fund (see below) Fixed assets reserve Legacies reserve Total funds

41,277 194,116 (104,751) 130,642 4,719 2,923 41,000 82,000 130,642

50,393 355,125 (112,029) 293,489 6,373 138,116 50,000 99,000 293,489

BOARDS’ STATEMENT These summarised accounts have been extracted from the full annual financial statements of The National Council for Civil Liberties (the Company) and The Civil Liberties Trust (the Charity) prepared in accordance with the Companies Act 1985, which were approved by the Boards of the Company and Charity respectively on 14 April and 21 June 2004. The full annual financial statements have been audited and the auditors’ opinion was unqualified. The full annual report and financial statements are to be submitted to the Registrar of Companies. These summarised accounts may not contain sufficient information to allow for a full understanding of the financial affairs of the Company and of the Charity. For further information the full financial statements, the auditors’ report on those financial statements and the Boards’ annual reports should be consulted. Copies of these may be obtained from the Secretary at 21 Tabard Street, London, SE1 4LA.

21 June 2004


protecting civil liberties

INCOME Donations, legacies and similar Activities in furtherance of objects Interest receivable Total income EXPENDITURE Costs of generating funds Grants payable to Liberty Other charitable expenditure Total expenditure

Civil Liberties Trust
INCOME AND EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2003 2003 £ 167,232 44,843 574 212,649 2002 £ 212,899 46,371 1,499 260,769

853 168,072 11,308 180,233

1,933 194,109 16,902 212,944

BALANCE SHEET AT DECEMBER 31, 2003 Fixed assets Current assets Creditors Net assets Restricted funds Unrestricted funds General fund Fixed assets reserve Total funds

322,259 27,424 (42,605) 307,078 7,515 9,563 290,000 307,078

327,499 24,160 (76,997) 274,662

24,662 250,000 274,662


Gotham Erskine, Chartered Accountants & Registered Auditors London EC2A 4NJ

We have examined these summarised accounts, which comprise the Income and Expenditure Accounts and Balance Sheets of The National Council For Civil Liberties and The Civil Liberties Trust. Respective responsibilities of Boards and Auditors The summarised accounts are the responsibility of the Boards. Our responsibility is to report our opinion on the consistency of the summarised accounts with the full annual reports and financial statements. We also read the other information contained within the Annual Review and summary accounts and consider the implications for our statement if we become aware of any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with the summarised accounts. Basis of opinion We have carried out the procedures we considered necessary to ascertain whether the summarised accounts are consistent with the full annual financial statements from which they have been prepared. Opinion In our opinion the summarised accounts are consistent with the full audited Annual Reports and Financial Statements of The National Council for Civil Liberties and The Civil Liberties Trust for the year ended 31 December 2003.



Who we are
Liberty Council Paul Bogan Bill Bowring Christine Burns Frances Butler Robin Cherney Karen Chouhan Barbara Cohen Madeleine Colvin Ciaran Conaghan Rufus D’Cruz Monica Dyer Michael Ellman Joanna Evans Pam Giddy Stephen Grosz* Alex Hamilton Jan Johannes Sadiq Khan Francesca Klug Doreen Lawrence Sarah Ludford MEP John Lyons Daniel Machover Scarlett MccGwire Mike McColgan Maleiha Malik Claude Moraes MEP Trevor Phillips Margaret Prosser Rod Robertson Lou Simans Satnum Singh Richard Stone Martin Stott Veena Vasista Yasmin Waljee Glenroy Watson Mazin Zeki * retired in 2003 Liberty Directors Rufus D’Cruz Michael Ellman Joanna Evans Sadiq Khan (Chair) John Lyons (Vice-Chair) Mike McColgan Scarlett MccGwire Rod Robertson Martin Stott (Treasurer) Liberty Staff Megan Addis Mona Arshi Roger Bingham Paolo Bruni Gemma Cannings Shami Chakrabarti Gareth Crossman Lyndsey Dolan Sabina Frediani Caoilfhionn Gallagher Alex Gask Joanna Gavan Zoe Gillard Barry Hugill Geraldine Ismail James Kirton Meghna Khanna Ren Kukanesen Mark Littlewood Ian Livett Steven Montgomery Penelope Morrow Yvette Mungaroo Gayle Noel Stephen Povey Bushra Razaq Tazeen Said Joanne Sawyer Frances Sheahan John Wadham James Welch Volunteers and Interns Margaret Allen Thuraya Al-Saidi Rosina Aman Rachel Blaine Rosa Curling Andrea Curti Gillian Ferguson Susannah Gale Katherine Haddon Jon Heard Fiona Higgins Refel Ismail Rachel Joyce Kathryn Kenny David Khan Shona Laing Nic Mazanec Mhairi McGhee Niamh McClean Kavita Modi Ayesha Mohsin Giles Newell Michael Nobel Leina Ogunde Jason Pollard Georgina Pope Sarah Pray Jen Roden Julia Seifer-Smith Lucie St Laurant Sarah Stephanel Nicola Stylianou Djamshid Turdaliev Sarah Wilkinson Farah Ziaulla George Zachary Liberty is dependant upon the time and skills which our excellent volunteers give to our work. Thank you all. Trustees of the Civil Liberties Trust Malcolm Hurwitt Christine Jackson (chair) Sadiq Khan John Lyons Fiona MacTaggart MP* Rod Robertson Annie Sedley Martin Stott Leslie Thomas * retired during 2003 Financial Advisor to the Trust: Simon Erskine

2003 in numbers…
human rights cases Liberty’s lawyers were involved in

2844 3956
letters from the public requesting legal help or advice

telephone calls from people around the country asking for advice from Liberty’s public helpline


different human rights matters dealt with by Liberty’s lawyers on the Human Rights and Public Law Line


policy papers responding for Government consultations or select committees with a civil liberty or human rights concern

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Thank you
Liberty is grateful to all the individual lawyers who give their time and expertise to providing guidance and help on the Liberty legal advice line. Particular thanks are due to the teams of volunteers from Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, 39 Essex Street Chambers and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Liberty wishes to thank Allen & Overy Association of London Government Barbican Arts Centre BPP Law School Cleary Gottlieb Clifford Chance The Community Fund Dechert 39 Essex Street Chambers Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer General Council of the Bar Herbert Smith Institute of Legal Executives The Law Society of England and Wales Legal Services Commission Linklaters London School of Economics and Political Science Matrix Chambers SJ Berwin Two Garden Court Chambers UNISON Liberty thanks Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith and Linklaters for seconding trainee solicitors and hosting fundraising events throughout 2003. The Civil Liberties Trust wishes to thank AB Charitable Trust Eleanor Rathbone Charitable Trust Esmée Fairburn Charitable Trust Eva Reckitt Trust Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust Lyndhurst Settlement Peter Minet Charitable Trust Polden Puckham Charitable Foundation Network for Social Change Nuffield Foundation Rowan Trust Stone Ashdown Trust (formerly Lord Ashdown Charitable Settlement) Steel Charitable Trust

Clockwise from above: Liberty supporters raising funds on a sponsored cycle ride. Larry Grant, who in 1970 became Liberty’s first legal officer, died in 2003. Gemma Cannings after her sponsored skydive to raise funds for the Civil Liberties Trust. Liberty’s criminal justice campaigner Bushra Razaq with newscaster Jon Snow at John Wadham’s farewell party. John Wadham who left Liberty after 13 years, at the launch of the Deaths in Custody Report. By Helen Atkinson



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