Joint Committee On Human Rights Fifth Report

Procedural safeguards and due process rights 3: Fairness of SIAC process generally

50. With limited exceptions, there has been no suggestion that hearings before SIAC are conducted otherwise than fairly. So far as one can tell, the only hearings to have taken place so far have been fair within the limits imposed by the legal framework put in place by the ATCS Act. The members of SIAC are properly independent, have appropriate expertise, and have acted impartially. Evidence for this is provided by the fact that SIAC held that sections 21 to 23 of the Act violated ECHR Article 14 taken together with Article 5 (although the decision was later reversed by the Court of Appeal). Once SIAC begins to conduct substantive hearings, we have no doubt that it will provide an adequate safeguard for the rights of detainees.

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Prepared 26 February 2003