Government announces review of counter-terrorism powers

Source: The Conservative Party

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a rapid review looking at which security powers could be scaled back in order to restore the balance of civil liberties.

"National security is the first duty of government but we are also committed to reversing the substantial erosion of civil liberties", she said.

"We must ensure that in protecting public safety, the powers we need to deal with terrorism are in keeping with Britain’s traditions of freedom and fairness."

The review will be carried out by the Home Office, with oversight from Lord Ken Macdonald QC, former Director of Public Prosecutions. It will focus on the following six priority areas:

  • Use of control orders
  • Stop and search powers in section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and use of terrorism legislation in relation to photography
  • Detention of terrorist suspects before charge
  • Extending the use of deportations with assurances to remove foreign nationals from the UK who pose a threat to national security
  • Measures to deal with organisations that promote hatred or violence
  • Use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 by local authorities, and access to communications data in general

The Home Secretary will report back on the findings of the review in the autumn.

"We will look at the evidence presented to us and where it is clear that legislation needs to be amended or powers need to be rolled back, we will do so", she added