UK’s POAC allows appeal on LTTE ban

UK’s POAC allows appeal on LTTE ban

21 October 2020 08:28 pm

UK's Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission (POAC) has allowed the most argued appeal (Appeal No. PC/04/2019) filed over the ban imposed on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in its ruling today (21).

The ruling was declared responding to the appeal filed by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) against the proscription of the LTTE.

The appeal was taken up for hearing before Justice Elisabeth Laing, Richard Whittam QC and Philip Nelson CMG.

In 2018, the TGTE had requested the UK's former State Secretary to deproscribe the LTTE on the basis that is was not involved in terrorism. This request was denied by the State Secretary on March 8, 2019.

In response, the TGTE lodged an appeal in the POAC against the State Secretary's decision demanding the removal of the LTTE from the list of proscribed organisations under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Maya Lester QC, Malcolm Birdling and Jacob Rabinowitz appeared on behalf of the appellants. The special advocates were Angust McCulloch QC and Rachel Tony. Sir James Eadie QC, Ben Watson and Emily Wilson appeared for the respondent, the Secretary of State.

The Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission noted that they consider the decision of the Secretary of State as flawed, thereby allowing the appeal. 

"We do no more than to express a provisional view that it is hard to see how, if the statutory test is met, and discretionary factors favour proscription, it could be disproportionate to maintain proscription," it said, addressing the respondent the Secretary of State. 

Nevertheless, it is up to the British government to decide whether the LTTE should remain a proscribed organisation in possible future hearings.