Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C is the independent reviewer of the complicated Terrorism legislation in the UK.
Thanks to David Mery for pointing us to Lord Carlile's latest annual report:
Report on the operation in 2005 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (66 page .pdf)
This is worth reading, although the media have only picked up on his call for more Customs & Excise officers to be on duty at UK ports and airports and for the better scrutiny of private executive jets etc. ("General Aviation").
The fact that only £9,318 of allegedly terrorist cash was seized in 2005 under the Terrorism Act 2000, seems to emphasise Gordon Brown's failures to clamp down on terrorist finances, as shown by his "I am not just the Chancellor, I have experience of secret anti-terrorism stuff as well, therefore I should become Prime Minister" speech to the Royal United Services Institute in February, which seemed to threaten a whole new level of secret snooping on the world's financial systems, on a similar scale to the WW2 "Enigma" cryptanalysis efforts at Bletchley Park.
Lord Carlile would like some information from the general Public, as well as from the Government and security authority vested interests:
However, there is a steady increase in the number of informal contacts and suggestions I receive from members of the public. They are sometimes of real value, and I welcome them all.
I do not offer any kind of appeal procedure for individual cases. However, I do read some documents referring to individual cases, and I do ask questions about them and can offer advice and comments. I am particularly anxious to obtain the assistance of more members of the public who have had some contact with the TA2000, whether as observers, witnesses, persons made subject to powers given under the Act or as terrorist suspects. It is not always as easy as one would wish to make contact with those who have had these real-life experiences.
Anyone wishing to provide me with information is very welcome to do so by writing to me at the House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW or sending me information via the Internet on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lord Carlile is also working on a review of the controversial legal definition of terrorism:
As stated above, the definition of terrorism is itself the subject of a special review that I am conducting currently. I have issued (by advertisement) a call for papers, and have written to many individuals whom I regard as potentially interested parties. I repeat my call for advice on that subject. It should be sent to me at 9-12 Bell Yard, London WC2A 2JR.
The correct form of address is to start your letter with "Dear Lord Carlile"
We will probably write to him regarding our pet peeves with the terrorism legislation:
- The far too broad and never used part of the existing definition of terrorism in Terrorism Act 2000 Section 1 Terrorism: interpretation.
(e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.
- The catch-all "thought crime" Terrorism Act 2000 Section 58 Collection of information - we know and possess far, far more information which could of use to a terrorist, than people currently serving prison sentences ranging from three and haf to fourteen years, and we bet that many of the readers of Spy Blog do also.
- The "brother's keeper" offence"
Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel ?' Cain answered 'I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper ?' Genesis chapter 4, verse 9
under Section 38B of the Terrorism Act 2000 Information about acts of terrorism, which was introduced by Section 117 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
- The all encompassing with no exceptions in the entire universe i.e. far too broad definiton of a noxious "substance" in Sections 113 to 115 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001:
115 Sections 113 and 114: supplementary (1) For the purposes of sections 113 and 114 "substance" includes any biological agent and any other natural or artificial substance (whatever its form, origin or method of production)
- The undefined, vague, and potentially catch-all Terrorism Act 2006 Section 5 Preparation of terrorist acts - which carries a penalty of up to imprisonment for life
- The http://www.spy.org.uk/spyblog/2006/04/lawyerbots_and_takedown_notice.html provisions of the Section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006
- The conflict between common sense the statutory Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations and training materials which have to be made available to people who work with hazadardous chemical or biological or radioactive substances, and the Terrorism Act 2006 Section 6 Training for terrorism. This further extends the catch-all definition of a "noxious substance":
(7) In this section- "noxious substance" means-
(a) a dangerous substance within the meaning of Part 7 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (c. 24); or
(b) any other substance which is hazardous or noxious or which may be or become hazardous or noxious only in certain circumstances;
"substance" includes any natural or artificial substance (whatever its origin or method of production and whether in solid or liquid form or in the form of a gas or vapour) and any mixture of substances.
Even with these catch-all definitions, surely, it should not be legal , under British law, to prosecute someone as a terrorist, for being the victim of a confidence trick, involving an imaginary or fictious "noxious substance" ? Incredibly, there is such a trial currently underway right now - see
Surely any review of the Terrorism legislation should recommend that this sort of waste of resources and miscarriage of justice cannot happen again ?