Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill: Third reading

10 February 2015

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill had its third reading, a final chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes, in the Lords on Monday 9 February.

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill now returns to the Commons for consideration of Lords' changes.

Lords report stage day two: Wednesday 4 February

Peers discussed the potential impact of enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs). Concerns were raised about whether new statutory duties on universities would threaten freedom of speech.

Lords report stage day one: Monday 2 February

Members began by discussing a series of amendments to the law on seizures of passports and travel documents. Suggested changes on data retention, first debated during the second day of committee stage, were withdrawn without going to a vote.

Lords committee stage day three: Wednesday 28 January

Members of the Lords discussed measures in the bill to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. They raised concerns about the impact of these changes, particularly the difficulties that could be faced by educational institutions. They also considered a proposal to amend the statutory remit of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.

Lords committee stage day two: Monday 26 January

Members of the Lords discussed the impact of travel restrictions and the use of relocation orders as part of the extension of existing Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs).

Peers also considered data retention, including a proposal to reinsert measures originally part of the 2012 draft Data Communications Bill to increase monitoring powers. The suggested amendments would also make it a legal requirement for internet and phone companies to store customer data for 12 months, and to make this data available to the police and security services on request.

Lords committee stage day one: Tuesday 20 January

Members of the Lords began by discussing seizures of passports and travel documents under the new legislation. They agreed that legal aid should be made available at hearings for applications to extend the 14-day time period that a person’s travel documents can be kept. They then asked whether the power to seize passports should be regularly reviewed, how often this review should take place, and who should carry it out.

Members also discussed temporary exclusion orders, looking at how they should be applied and reviewed.

Lords second reading: Tuesday 13 January

Parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Home Office, Lord Bates (Conservative), opened the debate. He outlined key measures including greater ability to restrict the plans of those suspected of travelling overseas to engage in terrorism-related activity, and enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs). The bill also covers data retention and aviation, shipping and rail security.

In the debate that followed, many members called for assurances that the bill would achieve the necessary balance between security and liberty. Concerns were raised that certain proposals may not be workable and could be open to abuse.

About the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill

The bill has six key aims:

  • to strengthen powers to place temporary restrictions on travel where a person is suspected of involvement in terrorism
  • to enhance existing Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures to monitor and control the actions of individuals in the UK who pose a threat
  • to enhance law enforcement agencies’ ability to investigate terrorism and serious crime by extending the retention of relevant communications data to include data that will help to identify who is responsible for sending a communication on the internet or accessing an internet communications service
  • to strengthen security arrangements in relation to the border and to aviation, maritime and rail transport
  • to reduce the risk of people being drawn into terrorism, by enhancing the programmes that combat the underlying ideology which supports terrorism through improved engagement from partner organisations and consistency of delivery
  • to amend existing terrorism legislation to clarify the law in relation to both insurance payments made in response to terrorist demands and the power to examine goods under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Further information

Image: PA

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