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Californian “civil commitment” system a “flagrant breach” of ECHR Article 5

Californian “civil commitment” system a “flagrant breach” of ECHR Article 5

Hat tip to colleague Amanda Weston for this one. In The Government of the United States of America v Giese [2015] EWHC 2733 (Admin) (07 October 2015) the High Court found in an extradition case that the “civil commitment” system operated by California in respect of sexual offenders who have served their sentence amounts to a flagrant breach of ECHR Article 5, the right to liberty. These orders cause a person to be detained for an indefinite period, subject to an annual review.

There was a real risk that Mr Giese would be convicted if extradited and that he would be subject to one of these commitment orders.

The extradition to the United States of Mr Giese, accused of some serious sexual offences against a boy below the age of 14, was therefore held to be unlawful.

Could be useful in human rights breach protection cases where there is a risk of very prolonged detention that does not form part of a criminal sentence.

Colin Yeo
Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder and editor of the Free Movement immigration law website.

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