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In the Highest Degree OdiousDetention without Trial in Wartime Britain$
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A. W. Brian Simpson

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198259497

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259497.001.0001

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The Web of Suspicion

The Web of Suspicion

Chapter:
(p.333) 16 The Web of Suspicion
Source:
In the Highest Degree Odious
Author(s):

A. W. Brian Simpson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259497.003.0016

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

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