A BRITISH APPEALS COURT has ruled that the United Kina;agdom’s broad counterterrorism laws breach fundamental rights in a case involving the seizure of encrypted documents from David Miranda, the partner of Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald, at a London airport in 2013.

Miranda (pictured above) was detained and interrogated for nine hours at Heathrow Airport in August 2013 while he was assisting Greenwald’s reporting on documents about government mass surveillance leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Last year, the High Court in London dismissed a legal challenge brought by Miranda over the case on the grounds that it reasonably regarded his actions as “terrorism” as defined by the law. However, that decision was partially overturned Tuesday by the Court of Appeal in a ruling that will be viewed as a major victory for press freedom campaigners.

The ruling finds that the police followed the law when detaining Miranda under a controversial section of the Terrorism Act, Schedule 7. However, crucially, it asserts that the statute itself “is not subject to adequate safeguards against its arbitrary exercise” and is “incompatible” with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides the right to “receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

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