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Liberty

&
The Civil Liberties Trust

2003
Annual Review
protecting civil liberties

promoting human rights


Introduction

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.

Contents
Shami Chakrabarti
What are Liberty and the Civil Liberties Trust? 1
Director of Liberty and
the Civil Liberties Trust Education, Advice, Training and Research 2&3

Successes and Challenges 4&5

Financial Reports 6&7

2003 in Numbers 8

Who we are 8

1 protecting civil liberties


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
is Civil Liberties Trust?
The Civil Liberties Trust provides legal advice, education and The Civil Liberties Trust’s objects are:
research into human rights and civil liberties issues. It works • The promotion of domestic human rights including the
in parallel with Liberty and is based in the same building. elimination of the infringement of those rights and the
The Trust does not employ staff but pursues its objectives promoting of effective remedies following any breach,
by funding Liberty to carry out specifically charitable work. for the benefit of the public.
Most of the Trust’s direct charitable expenditure is • The provision of legal advice, assistance and representation
represented by grants to Liberty to fund work in the areas of on human rights and civil liberties to those unable to pay for it.
information, research, publications, advice and legal services. • 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.

proMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS 1


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

Legal Advice Line Your Rights - Website and Book


Liberty’s legal advice line provides free advice to those who Liberty’s online guide to human rights and civil liberties,
believe their human rights or civil liberties have been www.YourRights.org.uk, continues to draw many individuals
breached. The line is open for six hours a week, offering seeking information and advice about their rights. This site
advice on subjects from workplace surveillance to complaints provides comprehensive information on rights and freedoms,
against the police. The line is supervised by Liberty’s legal with particular attention to the effect of the incorporation of the
team and staffed by volunteer solicitors and barristers who European Convention on Human Rights under the Human
generously give their time and expertise. The demand for this Rights Act 1998.
service is extremely high - in 2003 we received nearly 3000 The website is fully accessible and includes a forum where
calls for advice. In December 2003, the advice line was members can share ideas and find practical solutions to
awarded the Community Legal Service Quality Mark. common problems. Those in need of more detailed advice can
send us their query through a secure, online form. In 2003
Written Advice around 300 people visited the site each day and the online
In 2003, Liberty received nearly 4000 written requests for forum had over 150 members.
advice and assistance – submitted by post, e-mail and In December 2003 the website was awarded a Community
through use of our online query form. The queries give us an Legal Service Quality Mark for Websites. The website and
insight into the issues and problems concerning members of YourRights tailored email advice service is supported by the
the public and are an important source of potential test cases. Community Fund, and is an excellent resource for the public
In order to deal with such a large number of queries, our and advisers alike.
Advice and Information Officers are assisted by a number of Work on the eighth edition of Liberty’s Guide to Your Rights
volunteers who carry out research and draft responses. began in 2003, and will be published in August 2004. This new

...RESEARCH
Deaths in Custody - reform and redress was published at the end of a year “The European Court ruled that
long research project. The testimony of families who have struggled with an
opaque and inadequate process of investigation and remedy contributed to Christopher had been denied his
the demand for reform. The report, funded by the Nuffield Foundation and right to life and that we had been
commissioned by the Civil Liberties Trust, laid out the flaws in the current
system of investigation and made key recommendations for change. denied our right to both an effective
Liberty represented the families of several men who have died in custody: investigation and a remedy...
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 We trust that the Government is
now bound for the European Court; in April the police re-opened disciplinary giving urgent thought to changing
proceedings against five officers.
Christopher Edwards’ death and his parents' eight-year battle for the truth the nature of investigations to
culminated in an historic European Court victory, when the UK was found to
overcome the defects the Court
be in breach of its Article 2 duty to protect Christopher's life and to investigate
fully after his death. found. This new Liberty report
Liberty hopes this report will help achieve positive change and reduce the
should be accepted as a valuable
likelihood of experiences like that of the Alder and Edwards families from
being repeated. input into this process of review”.

2 protecting civil liberties


TRAINING...
edition will include an overview of the Human Rights Act 1998, and advisers are fully equipped to represent their clients.
a guide to finding legal resources, and two new chapters. The Liberty is very grateful to the immigration team at Two Garden
contributors are expert lawyers who have generously donated Court Chambers and Linklaters, respectively, for their
their time and expertise. expertise and support.
In partnership with Rights of Women we ran a free human
Advice and Training for Legal Advisers rights workshop for women working in small, community
Liberty, in partnership with the Public Law Project, operates a organisations. Women from all over the country came to learn
specialist advice service for solicitors and advisers. The how human rights are applicable to their lives and those they
Human Rights and Public Law Line provides immediate, advise and support.
expert guidance on human rights and public law problems. In
2003 our lawyers dealt with 354 different matters, helping legal
LEGAL ADVICE LINE
advisers nationwide understand when and how to make a
For confidential, free, advice on human rights issues:
human rights claim for their clients. For the second year
running Liberty’s lawyers provided in-house training, tailored 0845 123 2307
6.30pm – 8.30pm Monday and Thursday
to the needs of delegates. In 2003 they provided training in
12.30pm – 2.30pm Wednesday
Anglesey, Bristol, Goole, London, Newcastle and Stockton-
on-Tees. The advice and training service is funded by the
Legal Services Commission.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND PUBLIC LAW LINE
For specialist guidance on human rights and public law,
Training, Education and Outreach
for lawyers and advisers with Legal Services
In addition to the nationwide in-house human rights training Commission contracts:
provided by Liberty’s lawyers, we organised and participated
in a range of training, education and outreach events. We
0808 808 4546
2pm – 5pm Monday and Wednesday
continued to run our biannual updater on the human rights
10am – 1pm Tuesday and Thursday
impact of asylum legislation, ensuring high street solicitors

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

proMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS 3


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

Equality
• Liberty welcomed proposals to give same-sex partners the Asylum
same rights over pensions, inheritance tax, property, and • In partnership with refugee, asylum and housing
social security benefits as married heterosexual couples. organisations, Liberty mounted a swift and coordinated
attack on the law which threatened to see thousands of
• Legal action by Liberty led to the Child Support people denied shelter and food, and facing a desperate
Commissioners ruling that it is unlawful to treat a parent who situation in the middle of winter.
is living with a partner of the same sex differently from one in • By denying asylum seekers state support, in addition
a heterosexual relationship. to forbidding them from working, the Government
effectively forced them to beg, steal, prostitute
• Following two landmark cases, Goodwin and I, in which themselves or die on Britain’s streets.
Liberty intervened, we welcomed proposals to give • Liberty argued that the new rule on benefits amounted
transpeople equal rights. to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Following
our intervention, with the Joint Council for the Welfare of
• A Liberty court victory led to proposals to create a voluntary Immigrants, the High Court found that it is potentially
register to enable contact to be made between adults degrading to deny people both the right to work and any
conceived by sperm, egg and embryo donation and their access to support. The system operated by the
natural parents. Government was deemed unfair, unjust and inflexible.

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

4 protecting civil liberties


CHALLENGES
National Security
• Liberty took up the cause of 11-year-old Isabelle Ellis-
Cockcroft 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 11 year old Isabelle Ellis-Cockcroft being issued with a
Metropolitan Police to ensure that peace protesters were Section 44 notice under the Terrorism Act 2000.
not prevented from demonstrating against the visit of US By Dave Cockcroft
President, George Bush.
• Liberty took on the case of Katharine Gun, a
• 2003 marked the second anniversary of the internment 'whistleblower' who leaked an email memo sent to GCHQ
without trial of 14 terrorist suspects. We organised a well- in Cheltenham, where she worked as a translator. The email
attended public lecture by Gareth Peirce, the solicitor was written by American intelligence officials and asked
acting for many of the detainees; orchestrated a letter of Britain to bug the telephones of members of the United
protest by religious leaders, published in the Guardian; and Nations’ Security Council in the lead-up to a crucial vote in
lobbied the media to report on ‘Britain's Guantanamo Bay.’ the final fortnight before the war in Iraq began.

• In the name of protecting children, in future every infant born if and how the technology could be used in a manner that did
in the UK will be issued with an ‘individual reference number’. not compromise individual privacy. We received a similar
Liberty appreciates and supports the Government’s intention approach from all of the major mobile phone networks to
to improve child protection by creating a framework for discuss the related issue of the tracking of individuals through
information sharing, however remains concerned that so much their mobile phone use.
information would be flowing to so many sources that children
genuinely at risk might not be identified. • The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) was
significantly amended in 2003 to dramatically increase the
• 2003 saw the emergence of ‘Radio Frequency Identification’ number of governmental organisations allowed to intercept
(RFID) as the new retailing buzz words. A number of large and eavesdrop on phone calls and email, and to place ‘covert
supermarkets are experimenting with the insertion of RFID human intelligence sources’ (spies) in private companies and
tags onto goods. The tags transmit data such as identification charities. Previously such covert surveillance was restricted to
or location information, or specifics about the product tagged a limited number of public bodies, including the police and the
(price, colour, date of purchase). Liberty expressed serious intelligence services. Liberty expressed serious reservations
privacy concerns and was approached by retailers to discuss about the extensions of the powers.

proMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS 5


Finances
Liberty
INCOME AND EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2003

2003 2002
INCOME £ £
Grants, donations and legacies 357,571 491,250
Membership subscriptions 227,863 215,326
Legal and other earned income 218,045 293,785
Interest receivable 5,813 8,065

809,292 1,008,426

EXPENDITURE
Project expenditure 246,784 339,037
Legal work 163,032 165,545
Training and events 21,504 23,853
Membership and fundraising 201,038 169,252
Campaigns and publicity 124,801 56,947
Management and administration 214,980 225,013

Total expenditure 972,139 979,647

BALANCE SHEET AT DECEMBER 31, 2003


Fixed assets 41,277 50,393
Current assets 194,116 355,125
Creditors (104,751) (112,029)

Net assets 130,642 293,489

Restricted funds 4,719 6,373


Unrestricted funds:
General fund (see below) 2,923 138,116
Fixed assets reserve 41,000 50,000
Legacies reserve 82,000 99,000

Total funds 130,642 293,489

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

6 protecting civil liberties


Finances
Civil Liberties Trust
INCOME AND EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2003

2003 2002
INCOME £ £
Donations, legacies and similar 167,232 212,899
Activities in furtherance of objects 44,843 46,371
Interest receivable 574 1,499

Total income 212,649 260,769

EXPENDITURE
Costs of generating funds 853 1,933
Grants payable to Liberty 168,072 194,109
Other charitable expenditure 11,308 16,902

Total expenditure 180,233 212,944

BALANCE SHEET AT DECEMBER 31, 2003


Fixed assets 322,259 327,499
Current assets 27,424 24,160
Creditors (42,605) (76,997)

Net assets 307,078 274,662

Restricted funds 7,515


Unrestricted funds
General fund 9,563 24,662
Fixed assets reserve 290,000 250,000

Total funds 307,078 274,662

INDEPENDENT AUDITORS' STATEMENT 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.

proMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS 7


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

2003 in numbers…
78 human rights cases Liberty’s
lawyers were involved in
2844 telephone calls from people
around the country asking

3956 letters from the public


requesting legal help or
for advice from Liberty’s
public helpline

354 different human rights matters


dealt with by Liberty’s lawyers
advice

24 policy papers responding for


on the Human Rights and Government consultations or
Public Law Line select committees with a civil
liberty or human rights concern

8 protecting civil liberties


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

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

proMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS 9


LIBERTY & THE CIVIL LIBERTIES TRUST
21 Tabard Street, London SE1 4LA
Tel: 020 7403 3888 Fax: 020 7407 5354
info@liberty-human-rights.org.uk
www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk

The Civil Liberties Trust is a company limited by guarantee.


Charity registration number: 1024948
Company registration number: 2824893

Liberty (the National Council for Civil Liberties) is a company limited by guarantee.
Company registration number: 3260840

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