10 Security impacts on civil and human rights in Britain
The war on terror and developments since 9/11 and 7/7 have had distinct – if mixed and controversial – consequences for British society and its constituent groups. Equally, the legislative and legal changes developed as a consequence had diverse effects on civil and human rights in Britain. Some people have seen the legislative and legal responses as a natural and acceptable consequence of a manifest terrorist threat. Others have interpreted them as unacceptable infringements on established civil and human rights and a distinct threat to the democratic principles and practices that have become deeply embedded in British society. This section presents a number of articles that spell out the nature of the government’s response to the terrorist attacks; the nature of the legal changes and the legislation that has been enacted; its implications for human rights in Britain; and the degree to which current changes can be interpreted as a direct threat to British freedoms.