"One of Britain's most senior judges condemned the American courts last night for a 'monstrous failure of justice' by refusing to rule on the claims of Taliban suspects held without trial at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
"Lord Steyn, a serving law lord, said the United States was acting illegally by holding the men without trial since their transfer from Afghanistan early last year.
"'By denying the prisoners the right to raise challenges in a court about their alleged status and treatment, the United States government is in breach of the minimum standards of customary international law,' he said.
"Giving the annual F A Mann lecture arranged by the law firm Herbert Smith in London last night, Lord Steyn accused the world's most powerful democracy of 'detaining hundreds of suspected foot soldiers of the Taliban in a legal black hole at the United States naval base at Guantanamo Bay, where they await trial on capital charges by military tribunals'.
But these tribunals, or 'commissions', were not independent courts, he said.
"The term 'kangaroo court' springs to mind."