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18 March 2010

Consultation on terrorist asset freezing

The Treasury today launched a public consultation on the Terrorist Asset-Freezing Bill, which was published in draft on 5 February 2010.

The consultation document sets out the Government’s approach to terrorist asset freezing and its proposals for more permanent terrorist asset freezing legislation. 

This public consultation will play an important role in ensuring that the new legislation is subject to proper scrutiny and that Parliament’s consideration of the proposals in due course is informed by external views and evidence.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Sarah McCarthy-Fry said:

"Government’s asset freezing regime is a valuable tool for countering terrorist activity. We are  committed to maintaining an effective, proportionate and fair terrorist asset freezing regime that meets UN obligations, protects national security by disrupting flows of terrorist finance, and safeguards human rights."

The consultation will close on 18 June  2010.

Notes for Editors

1. United Nations Security Council resolutions require the UK to implement two terrorist asset freezing regimes:

2. These were implemented through Orders in Council made under the United Nations Act 1946.   Following the Supreme Court’s decision to quash the 2006 Order, and its indication that the 2009 Order was vulnerable to being quashed on the same basis as the 2006 Order, the Terrorist Asset-Freezing (Temporary Provisions) Act 2010 was passed on 10 February.  The Act restores the validity in law of the UK’s 1373 terrorist asset freezing regime until 31 December 2010, providing time for proper scrutiny of more permanent legislation without incurring a gap in our terrorist asset freezing regime that would have damaged national security.

3. More permanent primary legislation is required to implement fully the UK’s obligations under the 1373 terrorism regime and provide the Government with the power to take national decisions to freeze the assets of domestic terrorist suspects. 

4. The consultation document sets out the Government’s approach to terrorist asset freezing and its proposals for more permanent legislation. 

5. The Consultation will close in three months time on 18 June 2010.

6. Responses should be  sent to:

Asset Freezing Unit
HM Treasury, 3/12
1 Horse Guards Road
London
SW1A 2HQ

Or emailed to: AFUconsultation@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 0207 270 5454

7. The Treasury’s response to the consultation will be published in due course, and all those contacting the Treasury about this will receive a response.

8. The Supreme Court also quashed The Al-Qaida and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Order 2006. However, the Al-Qaida and Taliban asset freezing regime is not included in the consultation because it continues to be implemented in the UK under a directly applicable EC Regulation, 881/2002. Secondary legislation, the Al-Qaida and Taliban (Asset Freezing) Regulations 2010, which provides penalties for breaches of the provisions of the EC Regulation, have been laid before the Houses of Parliament and will soon be debated. 

9. Public Consultation on the draft Terrorist Asset-Freezing Bill

10. Public Consultation on the draft Terrorist Asset-Freezing Bill - consultation document (PDF)

Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Correspondence and Enquiry Unit on 020 7270 4558 or by e-mail to public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk

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