Details Of Anti-Terrorism Measures

 

The following is the text of the explanatory and financial memorandum on the Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Bill to be debated in the House of Commons today:

The Bill makes new provision in relation to offences concerning proscribed organisations under the prevention of terrorism legislation. It concerns the admissibility of evidence, inferences that may be drawn from silence, powers of arrest and detention and forfeiture of property.

The Bill also amends existing provisions on conspiracy to provide that, subject to certain conditions, it will be an offence to conspire within the United Kingdom to commit an offence outside the United Kingdom.

The Bill generally seeks to make comparable changes throughout the United Kingdom by amending existing provisions extending to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Clause 1 concerns the admissibility of evidence and inferences to be drawn in Great Britain in cases concerning proscribed organisations which are not maintaining a complete ceasefire.

Clause 2 makes comparable provision in Northern Ireland.

Clause 3 provides that persons suspected of certain offences in Northern Ireland relating to proscribed organisations may be arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989. This is already the case with regard to persons suspected of such offences in Great Britain.

Clause 4 confers power to order the forfeiture of property on conviction of an offence relating to a proscribed organisation when the person convicted is a member of an organisation not maintaining a complete ceasefire.

Clause 5 sets out the conditions which need to be satisfied, in relation to England and Wales, for an offence of conspiracy to commit offences outside the United Kingdom.

The clause provides that the substantive act must constitute an offence both under the law of England and Wales and under the law of the country in which the act is to be committed. The consent of the Attorney General is required for proceedings to be instituted.

Clause 6 makes corresponding provision for Northern Ireland.

Clause 7 makes corresponding provision for Scotland.