COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Liberty adopts new approach to court case campaigning

Liberty says it plans to make greater use of a new style of court campaigning following the success of its battle against the Government on asylum.

The human rights organisation played a major role in challenging laws introduced by Home Secretary David Blunkett that aimed to withdraw rights from asylum seekers who did not claim benefits "as soon as practicable" on arrival.

The legal battle centred on test cases of six refugees. Instead of representing them, Liberty appealed to the court to give evidence as an interested party.

Spokesman Mark Littlewood said: "It meant that rather than getting embroiled in technicalities, we could get straight into the bigger picture on human rights.

"It's pretty easy for NGOs to intervene in court cases if they can show they are an interested party."

Liberty was at the forefront of a voluntary-sector coalition that included charities as diverse as the Refugee Council, Oxfam and the Maternity Alliance.

The High Court accepted their claim that the laws breached the European Convention on Human Rights. Last week, the Court of Appeal rejected a bid by Blunkett to reverse the ruling.

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