21 June 2011

Joint Committee on Human Rights publishes report on Terrorrism Act 2001

Kam Gill's avatar

​The report, published on Wednesday 15th July, discusses the need for a replacement power for Section 44, which was struck down by the courts as being counter to the European Convention on Human Rights

Photo: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/994329

​The report, published on Wednesday 15th July, discusses the need for a replacement power for Section 44, which was struck down by the courts as being counter to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Committee concede that there is a need for a replacement power but also recommend that the Government provide Parliament with greater evidence of the “opperational gap” in their counter-terrorism powers since Section 44 was struck down.They also recommend that the new law:

  • require the officer authorising stop and search without reasonable suspicion to have a reasonable basis for his or her belief that the authorisation is needed, and to provide an explanation;
  • prevent the renewal of authorisations other than on the basis of new or additional information, or a fresh assessment of the original intelligence that the threat remains immediate and credible; and
  • require prior judicial authorisation for this power to stop and search to be available to the police, and
  • require authorisations to be publicly notified once they have expired, so far as is consistent with the protection of intelligence sources.

Because of concerns about the racially discriminatory exercise of the previous power, the Committee also recommends strengthening the Code of Practice and bolstering the role of the independent reviewer in order to enhance political accountability for the police and Home Secretary’s exercise of the power.

The report is available to download from the parliament.uk website.