Bernard Keenan in the Guardian: What will the name Abu Qatada signify to future students of the British legal system? Jordan’s courts convicted Qatada in 2000, while he was in the UK, based on information extracted from alleged co-conspirators by means of torture. Last year, Jordan agreed that any retrial in person would not rely on torture evidence. Without recourse to torture evidence, the prosecution case against him collapsed on Wednesday. The effects on our legal system associated with Qatada are longer-lasting [...]
On Wednesday, the Home Office sought to set the media agenda by reassuring the public that Qatada will not return to the UK, even though there is no suggestion whatsoever that he wants to.[...]
Abu Qatada will come to symbolise a brief period in legal history when a parallel system of secret justice was established, the enforcement of human rights norms portrayed as naive or even dangerous, and the legal mechanisms for full surveillance of the population put in place.