Have your say on the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill

12 June 2018

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 26 June 2018; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Tuesday 17 July 2018. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 17 July 2018.*

* In the last Parliamentary Session, the following Public Bill Committees concluded their consideration of the Bill earlier than scheduled: Criminal Finances, Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts), Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs), Neighbourhood Planning, Savings (Government Contributions), Technical and Further Education, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Children & Social Work, National Citizen Service, and Bus Services.

Aims of the Bill

The Bill follows the Government’s review of its counter-terrorism strategy and of counter terrorism legislation. Part 1 of the Bill would bring in the legislative changes arising from the review. Amongst other changes, it would:

  • Make it an offence to express an opinion or belief that is supportive of a proscribed organisation in certain circumstances (clause 1)
  • Criminalise the publication of certain images which would arouse reasonable suspicion that the offender was a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation (clause 2)
  • Amend the existing offence of downloading terrorist material and extend it to streaming such material, where this is done on three or more occasions (clause 3)
  • Amend existing offences of encouragement of terrorism and dissemination of terrorist publications (clause 4)
  • Increase maximum sentences for certain terrorist offences (clause 6)
  • Add to the list of offences for which extended sentences can be given in certain circumstances (clauses 8-10)
  • Make changes to the notification requirements for registered terrorist offenders, and introduce a new police power to enter and search their homes (clauses 11 and 12)
  • Add certain terrorist offences to the list of offences for which a Serious Crime Prevention Order can be given (clause 13)
  • Allow local authorities (as well as the police) to refer people who are considered vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism to the multi-agency panels which assess them and provide support (clause 18)
  • Part 2 of the Bill is in response to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 with a nerve agent. Clause 20 and schedule 3 would bring in powers to stop, question, search and detain people at ports and borders to determine whether they appear to be (or have been) engaged in hostile activity.

Most of the Bill extends and applies to the whole of the UK, but some clauses have more limited application. For example, the provisions on extended sentences in clause 8 apply only in England and Wales. Details of territorial extent are in clause 24 of the Bill and paragraphs 17-25 and Annex C of the Explanatory Notes.

Follow the progress of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill

The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill was presented in the House of Commons on 6 June 2018 and had its second reading debate on 11 June 2018.

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee which will hold its oral evidence sessions on Tuesday 26 and Thursday 28 June 2018. The Public Bill Committee must conclude by Tuesday 17 July 2018.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration and possibly reflect it in an amendment. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents pages. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 26 June 2018; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Tuesday 17 July 2018. Please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 17 July 2018.

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk.

Further guidance on submitting written evidence can be found here (PDF PDF 1.25 MB).

Image: PA - Tim Ockenden

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