The Home Office€™s counter-terrorism policy

The Home Affairs Committee is today announcing the scope of its investigation into elements of the Home Office's counter-terrorism policy. The inquiry will focus on the following issues:

  • The immediate response of the Home Office to a terrorist attack, including the effectiveness of the Civil Contingencies Committee ("COBRA") in coordinating an immediate Government response;
  • The potential use of intercept evidence and the value of control orders;
  • The misuse and misapplication of anti-terrorism powers;
  • Anti-terrorism measures at the European level.

Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee said:

"Following our inquiry into Project CONTEST, published in July of this year, this is an important inquiry looking at other components of the Home Office's counter-terrorism strategy. We will also look closely at how the Government responds in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack.

This summer has seen many legal developments in this area with the role of control orders and intercept evidence coming under scrutiny; this inquiry aims to contribute to that debate by looking also at the legal tools available to prosecutors."

The remit of the Home Affairs Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies.

The Committee is seeking written submissions of no more than 2,500 words from interested parties, before it takes oral evidence on this inquiry. Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by Friday 30th October 2009. Further advice on making a submission can be found below.


Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format€” not PDF format€”and sent by e-mail. The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence .

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

Please bear in mind that the Committee is not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.