A senior lawyer with special security clearance says he will no longer represent terror suspects in protest over “odious” anti-terror laws.
Ian MacDonald QC said he was stepping down after seven years “for reasons of conscience” because the laws were a “blot on the legal landscape”.
It comes after the House of Lords ruled the indefinite detention of terrorist suspects was unlawful.
But the Law Lords have no power to strike out the anti-terrorism act.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has attacked the decision by Britain’s highest court.
He said the right to life was the “most important liberty” and the government had a duty to protect people from terrorism.
The Law lords were “simply wrong” to imply the men were being held arbitrarily, he said.
Mr MacDonald is one of the Special Advocates given security clearance to represent detainees before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) – a secure court without jury, which tries terror suspects.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday he said the law was fundamentally flawed and “contrary to our deepest notions of justice”.
“My role has been altered to provide a false legitimacy to indefinite detention without knowledge of the accusations being made and without any kind of criminal charge or trial,” he said.
He adds: “Such a law is an odious blot on our legal landscape and for reasons of conscience I feel that I must resign.”
Mr Macdonald, who has been President of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association since 1984, said that following the September 11 attacks, the SIAC’s role was expanded to hear appeals against the indefinite detention without trial of suspected international terrorists accused of links to al Qaeda who could not be deported.
He stayed on because he thought he could “make a difference”, despite considering it “a wrong law brought in the wrong way to the wrong court”.