Review of counter-terrorism and security powers - Terms of reference
Date: Thu Jul 29 15:52:02 BST 2010
Purpose of the review
The purpose of the review is to look at the issues of security and civil liberties in relation to the most sensitive and controversial counter-terrorism and security powers and, consistent with protecting the public and where possible, to provide a correction in favour of liberty.
Aim of the review
The aim of the review is to ensure that the powers and measures covered by the review are necessary, effective and proportionate and meet the UK’s international and domestic human rights obligations.
Scope of the review
The review will consider six key counter-terrorism and security powers:
- Control orders (including alternatives)
- Section 44 stop and search powers and the use of terrorism legislation in relation to photography
- The use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) by local authorities and access to communications data more generally
- Extending the use of ‘Deportation with Assurances’ in a manner that is consistent with our legal and human rights obligations
- Measures to deal with organisations that promote hatred or violence
- The detention of terrorist suspects before charge, including how we can reduce the period of detention below 28 days
The review will help to inform whether any additional safeguards should be introduced in relation to the powers to freeze terrorist assets.
The review will not consider the use of intercept as evidence in criminal proceedings or the modernisation of our interception capabilities.
The review is to be conducted as openly and transparently as possible. The review will be led by the Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office with the full involvement of the police, the security and intelligence agencies, the Crown Prosecution Service and other government departments including those in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The review will report to the National Security Council.
Timing of the review
The outcome of the review will be reported to Parliament after the summer recess. Any recommendations that are accepted by the Government will be implemented as a matter of urgency.
Independent oversight of the review
Lord Macdonald of River Glaven QC will provide independent oversight of the review. His role will be:
- to ensure that the review has been properly conducted
- that all the relevant options in each of the six areas covered by the review have been considered
- that the recommendations of the review are fair and balanced.
He will produce a report on the review which will be made publicly available.
Consultation on the review
The review should consider as wide a range of views as possible. Key organisations and individuals across the United Kingdom will be invited to contribute to the review. This will include Liberty and other civil liberty organisations as well as community groups. Members of the public and interested organisations can send their contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org. or to:
5th Floor, Peel Building
2 Marsham Street
A document setting out a summary of contributions received will be published at the end of the review.
An equality impact assessment will be produced on the recommendations made by the review.