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Terrorism Acts 2000 & 2006

A late 20th century snapshot of terrorism in the UK reveals a recently ended IRA ceasefire in 1996, the deaths of two people as a result of the Canary Wharf bomb, 200 people injured in Manchester city centre and a recommendation from Lord Lloyd of Berwick regarding a permanent anti-terrorism law to replace temporary statutes applicable mainly to Northern Ireland.[1] The outcome was the Terrorism Act 2000, (TA 2000) with seven parts, sixteen schedules and 300 pages.[2] The TA 2000 was an amalgamation of much of the Northern Irish legislation but given a broader application.

The TA 2000 adopted a very wide definition of terrorism, which focuses on both the motivations of terrorist conduct as well as its methods.[3] It includes not only violence against persons by "serious damage to property".[4] It has been criticised for being "sweepingly broad and extraordinarily vague".[5]Another controversial aspect of the TA 2000 was the authority of a senior police officer to authorise the use of blanket stop and searches within a specified geographical area under section 44 and renewable for up to 28 days.[6] There was no requirement for police to have grounds for suspecting terrorist activity; powers were to be used to search for articles connected with terrorism.[7] Evidence suggests that ethnic minorities were effected disproportionality by these powers. In the months that followed the 2005 London bombings there was a twelvefold increase in the stop and searches of black and Asian people in London, compared to a fivefold increase in white people.[8]

Powers under section 44 have since been repealed; however, powers to stop, examine and detain travellers by air and sea under Schedule 7 remain.[9] A new section 47A was implemented after section 44 was found to infringe the right to a private and family life under Article 8 ECHR[10][11] The TA 2000 also includes anomalies such a three months prison sentence for a breach of a police cordon around a package suspected of being terrorism-related[12] and a sentence of one month for a similar breach when the package is suspect but not terrorism-related.[13]

The Terrorism Act 2006 (TA 2006) was passed in response to the London bombings of 2005.[14] It was characterised with the "panic filled retreat from human rights laws" typical of anti-terrorism legislation.[15] The TA 2006 extended the length of time that a terror suspect could be detained without charge[16] and introduced measures that curtailed freedom of expression.[17] As a counter measure, an independent review of terrorism was also introduced via the TA 2006.[18] Further measures were introduced with the criminalisation of preparatory acts of terrorism; many individuals may not be involved in the terrorist acts themselves, or any part of a conspiracy, but it covers those sending equipment to fighters in Afghanistan.[19] The TA 2006 further elaborates on acts of terrorism by creating offences of publication or dissemination of terrorist publications.[20] Finally, the TA 2006 also creates an offence of attending a location that is known to be used for the training of terrorists, regardless of why the person is actually there.[21]


Bibliography

i. Cases

Gillan and Quinton v United Kingdom (Application no 4158/05)

R(Kurdistan Workers Party) v Secretary of State for the Home Dept [2002] EWHC 644

ii. Legislation

European Convention of Human Rights 1953

Terrorism Act 2000

Terrorism Act 2006

iii. Books/Articles

Alder, J., Constitutional and Administrative Law (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015)

Anderson, D. QC, Shielding the compass: how to fight terrorism without defeating the law (2013) 3 European Human Rights Law Review, 233-246

McKeever, D., The Human Rights Act and anti-terrorism in the UK: one great leap forward by Parliament, but are the courts able to slow the steady retreat that has followed (2010) Jan, Public Law, 110-139

Moeckli, D., Stop and Search Under the Terrorism Act 2000: A Comment on R(Gillan) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (2007) 70(4) The Modern Law Review, 659-669,

iv. Online

Anderson, D.  Report on the Operation in 2010 of the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006, July 2011, para.6.14.

[online] <https://terrorismlegislationreviewer.independent.gov.uk/report-on-the-terrorism-acts-in-2010/> accessed 29th January 2016

v. Newspaper

Dodd,V. ‘Surge in Stop and Search of Asian People after July 7’, The Guardian 24 December 2005.


[1]David Anderson QC, Shielding the compass: how to fight terrorism without defeating the law (2013) 3 European Human Rights Law Review, 233-246, p.233

[2] ibid p.234

[3]David McKeever, The Human Rights Act and anti-terrorism in the UK: one great leap forward by Parliament, but are the courts able to slow the steady retreat that has followed (2010) Jan, Public Law, 110-139, p.115

[4] Section 1 Terrorism Act 2000

[5] Richards J in R(Kurdistan Workers Party) v Secretary of State for the Home Dept [2002] EWHC 644

[6]Daniel Moeckli, Stop and Search Under the Terrorism Act 2000: A Comment on R(Gillan) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (2007) 70(4) The Modern Law Review, 659-669, p.659

[7] Section 45(1)(a) Terrorism Act 2000

[8] V. Dodd, ‘Surge in Stop and Search of Asian People after July 7’The Guardian 24 December 2005.

[9] Anderson, supra n.1, p.238

[10]Gillan and Quinton v United Kingdom (Application no 4158/05)

[11] European Convention of Human Rights 1953

[12] Section 3 Terrorism Act 2000

[13]D. Anderson, Report on the Operation in 2010 of the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006, July 2011, para.6.14.

[online] <https://terrorismlegislationreviewer.independent.gov.uk/report-on-the-terrorism-acts-in-2010/> accessed 29th January 2016

[14] John Alder, Constitutional and Administrative Law (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015) p.577

[15] ibid

[16] Section 23 Terrorism Act 2006

[17] Sections 1-3 Terrorism Act 2006

[18] Section 36 Terrorism Act 2006

[19] Section 5 Terrorism Act 2006

[20] Sections 1-2 Terrorism Act 2006

[21] Section 8 Terrorism Act 2006


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