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Lords examines Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill

8 February 2021

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The House of Lords continues committee stage, the first chance to examine the text line by line, on Tuesday 9 February.

Members are expected to discuss a range of topics, including radicalisation in prisons, polygraph testing on terrorist offenders and the Act's impact on the National Probation Service.

Committee stage: Tuesday 9 February

Members discussed a range of topics, including rehabilitation and de-radicalisation programmes, release of prisoners serving a serious terrorism sentence and polygraph testing.

Second reading: Monday 21 September

The purpose of the bill is to ensure that serious and dangerous terrorist offenders spend longer in custody, reflecting the seriousness of the offences they have committed.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Conservative), government spokesperson, opened the debate.

Members discussed its key areas including the sentencing of terrorist offenders, removal or restriction of early release for terrorist prisoners, terrorism prevention and investigation measures (TPIMs) and the Prevent strategy.

Speakers included a former deputy assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police and a former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation.

Lord Vaizey of Didcot (Conservative) and the Bishop of Manchester made their maiden speeches. 

Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative), responded on behalf of the government.

Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill

This bill aims to:

  • create a new type of sentence for the most serious terrorist and terrorism-related offenders (aged 18 or over), with a minimum custodial term of 14 years and an extended licence period of between 7 and 25 years
  • remove the possibility of any early release from custody for dangerous terrorist offenders who have committed a serious terrorism offence and received an extended sentence
  • increase the maximum penalty available for particular terrorism offences.

Further information

Image: PA