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Viewing cable 10LONDON161, UK SUPREME COURT TO RELEASE TERRORIST FINANCE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10LONDON161 2010-01-25 14:02 2011-02-04 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy London
VZCZCXRO6990
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHLO #0161 0251421
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251421Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4760
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 000161 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2020 
TAGS: ECON ETTC UK
SUBJECT: UK SUPREME COURT TO RELEASE TERRORIST FINANCE 
DECISION; GOVERNMENT PREPARING FOR CONTINGENCIES 
 
Classified By: KATHLEEN DOHERTY, ECONOMIC COUNSELOR, FOR REASONS 1.4 B& D  

1. (C/NF) Summary: The newly created Supreme Court took as its first case in October 2009 a grouping of challenges to the UK's terrorist finance regime called the "G and others" case.  The Court released its decision to HM Treasury lawyers, but not its policy team, on January 21.  The broader Treasury team will receive the decision on January 26, and the public will see it the following day.  HM Treasury has been preparing contingency plans in case the decision is unfavorable.  Plans include possible fast-tracked Parliament-approved legislation to create a new terrorist finance regime.  The current framework was never debated in or approved by elected officials; which was one of the designees' and trial court's complaints.  HMG seeks to ensure there will be no gap between the judges' decision and the approval of new legislation, if the decision goes against the government.  HMT officials claim they have no insight into how the court will rule.  End Summary  

2. (C/NF) Designees on the UK domestic terrorist finance list brought individual legal cases against HM Treasury in the past few years; several of which were grouped into one case, "G and others" by the courts in 2008.  The designees main complaints were that the regime was never vetted by parliament, gave insufficient due  process guarantees, and its sanctions were not proportionate to the offenses they were accused of having committed.  If the Supreme Court strikes down most or all of the UK's terrorist asset freezing regime, as the High Court (trial court) did in April 2007, HM Treasury is prepared to move legislation quickly through Parliament.  The new legislation would be similar in nature to the existing structure, HMT officials told us, but would be debated and approved by Members of Parliament.  The current regime's transposition of UN Terrorist Finance orders into domestic UK orders without parliamentary debate was a key criticism by the High Court, although in November 2008 the Court of Appeals overturned that aspect of the original decision.  HMT has already received approval from the cabinet ministers to fast-track legislation in order to avoid a gap if the court quashes the current framework.  

3. (C/NF) The fast-track process is used only in emergencies.  HMT officials believe there will be strong cross-party support for such a bill, as no party during an election period will want to appear weak on terrorism, but they haven't spoken yet to opposition leaders.  HMT remains concerned about details such as the possibility the court will impose judicial oversight or other politically difficult aspects.  

4. (C/NF) HMT has no advance warning of whether it will win or lose the case, but officials are preparing for the worst case scenario.  Officials believe they will be forced to make some improvements to the current terrorist finance regime even if the decision is favorable.  In any event, HMT officials assure us this decision will only affect UK domestic designations.  Any groups or individuals designated under the UN framework will not be affected.  Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX 
SUSMAN