Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill

20 October 2011

The House of Lords debated the first day of committee stage – line by line examination – on the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill on Wednesday 19 October, the same day as the publication of a second report reiterating by the Joint Committee on Human Rights its concerns about the Bill.

The Committee remains concerned about the standard of proof required for the imposition of Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs) and recommends a number of amendments tabled by Members of the Lords for the committee stage debate to address them.

Some of those amendments were discussed in yesterday's debate, including proposals for changes to Schedule 1, which sets out an exhaustive list of the types of measures the Home Secretary could impose on an individual under this Bill to prevent or restrict involvement in terrorism-related activity.

Clauses discussed covered 2-6, 8, 9, 13 and 18 of the Bill. Committee stage continues on Wednesday 26 October.

Among proposals for changes to the Bill debated were amendments, moved by Lord Lloyd of Berwick, a former Law Lord, and by Lord Carlile of Berriew, the Government’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.

Members of the Lords taking part in the debate included, Lord Macdonald of River Glaven QC, Director of Public Prosecutions of England and Wales (2003-08), who provided external oversight of the Government’s review of counter terrorism and security powers, published January 2011, and QCs Lord Pannick, Lord Faulks, Lord Neil of Bladen and Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws.

Further information

About the Bill

The Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (Amendment) Bill abolishes the system of control orders, established under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, and replaces it with a new regime – Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs ) – designed to protect the public from terrorism.

The Bill, which started in the Commons, had its second reading in the House of Lords on 6 October

Committee reports

Joint Committee on Human Rights

This Joint Committee on Human Rights’ second report on the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill, published 20 October, follows the Government’s response to its first report, which was published in July.

The Committee says it supports amendments to clauses 3 and 6, tabled by Lord Lloyd of Berwick, which seek to replace executive orders with prior judicial authorisation of the kind which both human rights law and common law constitutional tradition require.

The Committee also recommends amendments tabled by Lord Pannick, including proposals in relation to a merits review of whether the conditions for imposing TPIMs are satisfied, and to the provision of information to an individual who is the subject of TPIMs about the allegations against them to enable them to give effective instructions to their legal representatives.

A report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, published on 19 July, says that criminal prosecution of terrorist suspects must be a priority. The Committee shares the concerns raised in Lord Macdonald's report (on the review of counter-terrorism and security powers) that TPIMs do not go far enough to bring restrictions on the freedoms of terrorist suspects into the domain of criminal due process, as part of a continuing criminal investigation into their activities.

The Committee is concerned by a significant fall in convictions for terrorism offences over the past four years while the ‘overriding purpose’ of the provisions in the Bill, as it currently stands, is prevention rather than investigation and prosecution.

The report recommends possible amendments to give effect to an alternative model Lord Macdonald proposes in his report, bringing TPIMs into the criminal justice process.

Constitution Committee

The Lords Constitution Committee describes the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill as an "unsatisfactory compromise" in a report published on 15 September. The report says the proposed measures in the Bill do not adequately address a "serious and continuing failure of public policy" and questions whether the UK should adopt a permanent scheme of what are meant to be "extraordinary" powers for dealing with terrorist suspects.

Passage of the Bill

Detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of the Bill takes place during committee stage.

Image: PA

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