Chapter

The Web of Suspicion

A. W. Brian Simpson

in In the Highest Degree Odious

Published in print November 1994 | ISBN: 9780198259497
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681974 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259497.003.0016
The Web of Suspicion

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The detainees who did take appeals to the House of Lords were Robert Liversidge and Ben Greene. Both lost, the judicial opinions being delivered on November 3, 1941; the resulting legal position seemed, from a technical point of view, exactly what the Home Office wanted. But success had its price, for the two cases brought the Home Office, the security service, and the courts, into very considerable disrepute. The executive detention of both Liversidge and Greene was entirely understandable, but they were in fact loyal citizens who, in an absolute sense, ought never to have been detained. The administrative mechanisms for Liversidge's and Greene's protection had delivered to them nothing of value, and as the year 1940 drew to a close both had been driven to the conclusion that their only hope lay in an appeal to the judges, the traditional if unenthusiastic guardians of British liberty against the over-mighty executive.

Keywords: House of Lords; Robert Liversidge; Ben Greene; detainees; executive detention; appeals; judicial opinions; Home Office; courts; security service

Chapter.  9725 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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