The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill currently being hustled through Parliament with unseemly haste was announced in a blaze of rhetoric. Theresa May told a rapt 2014 Conservative Party Conference that she wanted to see “new banning orders for extremist groups”. There was talk of re-establishing the Broadcasting Ban (which did so much in the 1980s and early 1990s to help out jobbing actors who could do a passable Gerry Adams impression – Stephen Rea included). “Foreign Fighters” would be prevented from returning to the United Kingdom. Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond even floated the idea of levelling treason charges against those taking part in Islamic State activities overseas, even though various modern terrorism offences of universal jurisdiction exist. Continue reading “Après Charlie: The Progress of the UK's new Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill”
We are delighted to welcome back Rachel Herron, a PhD candidate at Durham Law School. This post focuses upon TPIMs and the new Enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures legislation in the UK. Rachel has previously worked as a solicitor in private practice. You can read some of Rachel’s previous posts here and here.
Since 9/11 the reluctance of the Government to adhere to the normal tenets of human rights-protection and the rule of law in counter-terrorism measures has been demonstrated with a fairly depressing repetitiveness. This is particularly clear in relation to pre-charge restrictions placed individuals thought to be involved in terrorist activities.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the rapidly enacted Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act of 2001 (‘ATCSA’) implemented a policy of executive detention of non-UK nationals (s.23). Little over four years later the House of Lords handed down the oft-cited and widely commented upon judgment in A v Secretary of State for the Home Department (‘A’) holding that the power was incompatible with the ECHR. The judgment was seen by some as striking a first, and significant, blow against the Government’s counter-terrorism agenda and as sending a clear rights-enforcing message. Through the subsequent enactment of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 the Government replaced executive detention with control orders (ss.1-9). This regime remedied one source of criticism of executive detention by allowing individuals of any nationality to be detained. Continue reading “Counter-terrorism, Rights and the Rule of Law: How Far Have We Come Since Executive Detention?”