The lack of legality in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan | Letters

Ian Sinclair takes issue with the idea that the 2001 invasion was legal. Plus Dr Richard Lawson suggests that the west buy Afghan farmers’ opium crop, medicalise it, and use it medicinally in Africa

Was the 2001 US-led invasion and subsequent ongoing occupation of Afghanistan “never an illegal war”, as the Guardian asserts (Editorial, 23 August)?

Written in 2010, the official House of Commons Library briefing paper on the subject makes interesting reading: “The military campaign in Afghanistan was not specifically mandated by the UN, but was widely (although not universally) perceived to be a legitimate form of self-defence under the UN charter.”

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The Guardian view on UK Brexit policy: this time the lady is for turning | Editorial

The government’s latest position paper abandons the fantasy that Britain can go it alone. Not before time, ministers are having a close encounter with reality

The orthodoxy says that few things are more humiliating for a leader than a U-turn. That’s especially true in the Conservative party, where the ghostly voice of Margaret Thatcher in 1980 – “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning” – still echoes in the Central Office rafters. Sometimes, though, the orthodoxy is simply wrong. In some circumstances, a U-turn can be – and can even be publicly respected as – an act of common sense and even enlightenment. Mrs Thatcher might have survived longer if she had scrapped her delusional poll tax in 1989. Tony Blair’s reputation would be different if he had abandoned the Iraq invasion in the face of the public’s discontent. In Germany, Angela Merkel’s ratings grew stronger after the Fukushima incident persuaded her to phase out the nuclear power programme she had previously backed.

Theresa May’s U-turn on Britain’s relationship with the European court of justice after Brexit is one that should be warmly welcomed. Be in no doubt that a U-turn is what it is. In the past the prime minister’s language on the ECJ has been absolutist and without nuance. She has pledged that “the authority of EU law in Britain will end”, that a return to ECJ jurisdiction is “not going to happen”, and that the laws “will be interpreted by judges not in Luxembourg but in courts across this country”. With the publication of the government’s latest policy paper, on post-Brexit dispute resolution, none of those assertions is now true. Instead the paper sets out a range of ways in which the ECJ and its rulings will continue to play some part in the rule of UK law after Brexit.

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Judge condemns Amber Rudd for ignoring orders to release torture victim

Home secretary has failed to adequately explain delays in freeing asylum seeker from detention, says high court judge

A high court judge has said she is “deeply concerned” about the behaviour of Amber Rudd for failing to release a survivor of torture from detention despite repeated court orders requiring her to do so.

On Wednesday Mrs Justice Nicola Davies DBE presided over an emergency high court hearing to examine the home secretary’s delay in releasing an asylum seeker who had been tortured in a Libyan prison with electrocution and falaka – beating on the soles of the feet.

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Motorist would not have landed cyclist's 'wanton and furious driving' charge

Charlie Alliston should have had a front brake but 18mph is a cautious speed and double standards are at work here

A heavy-handed prosecution against a cyclist for manslaughter has failed but a charge of “wanton and furious driving” has succeeded.

In 2016 more than 400 pedestrians were killed on UK roads. Each a terrible tragedy to those involved and almost all avoidable. One of these casualties, Kim Briggs, died after a collision between herself and a teenage cyclist, Charlie Alliston.

Related: Ex-courier convicted for mowing down woman on his track bike

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Britain 'could remain under direct control of European court for years'

Scale of Theresa May’s climbdown revealed as UK faces having to implement ECJ rulings on key issues such as immigration

Britain could remain under the direct control of the European court of justice for years after Brexit, it has emerged, and still be forced to implement the court’s rulings on vexed issues such as immigration.

The expanding scale of the prime minister’s climbdown over her promise to “take back control of British law” was revealed as the government published its latest position paper on dispute resolution before the next round of Brexit talks.

The Luxembourg-based court of justice of the European Union is the highest court in Europe. Panels of judges from member states sit to interpret whether EU law is being fairly applied and can issue binding rulings over national courts.

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