Beghal v. Director of Public Prosecutions

Judgment Given on 22 July 2015

The appellant was questioned at an airport under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 (“TA 2000”), which requires a person in her position to answer questions asked by police officers, immigration officers and customs officers for the purpose there set out. She refused to answer the questions and was subsequently convicted of the offence of wilfully failing to do so, contrary to paragraph 18 of that Schedule. Her appeal against her conviction raises the issue whether Schedule 7 is compatible with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“ECHR”), and in particular with articles 8 (right to respect for private and family life), 5 (right to liberty) and 6 (privilege against self-incrimination).

Schedule 7 of TA 2000 has been somewhat amended, by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”), since the date when the appellant was questioned, but the issues of compatibility remain substantially the same. Since the argument before this court has in effect been concerned with its future application as well as with the appellant’s particular case, it is convenient to set out the statute in its present form, unless necessary to draw attention to any change which has been made.