On Tuesday 17th January 2006 the House of Lords finally saw a couple of Opposition amendments during the Report stage of the controversial Terrorism Bill 2005 being passed.
Report Stage will continue on Wednesday 25th January 2006.
The first of these amendments dealt with the vague, catch-all "glorification" of terrorism offence, which has basically been removed from the Bill, something which the Government is promising to restore.
Lord Lloyd of Berwick moved Amendment No. 8:
Page 1, line 15, leave out subsection (3).
The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, the purpose of the amendment is to leave out Clause 1(3). That subsection creates the offence of the glorification of terrorism.
Their Lordships divided: Contents, 270; Not-Contents, 144
The second amendment, Amendment 17 seems to have satisified the Academic and Library lobbies, regardinng "terrorist publications" who were right to be worried that lecturers and librarians would fall foul of the Bill, even if they had no intention whatsoever of assisting any terrorists.
If it does pass into law, would allay our fears about the unecessary criminalisation of Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) health and safety literature and training materials, by including the badly needed concept of actual intent to aid terrorist activity.
The Government had come up with a similar Amendment 20 except that
Lord Lloyd of Berwick:
"The Home Office seems to have a special genius at the moment for unnecessary complication"
"The language used in the Government's draft is extraordinarily turgid and virtually impossible for anybody who is not fairly expert in the law to read and understand."
The Anarchist's Cookbook was mentioned in debate, which is potentially much less useful to real terrorists than COSHH technical publications.
17 Jan 2006 : Column 600 6.43 pm
On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 17) shall be agreed to?
Their Lordships divided: Contents, 234; Not-Contents, 134
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