Terrorist Asset-Freezing (Temporary Provisions) Bill — Committee
Lord Pannick (Crossbench)
I support the amendments requiring regular reports to Parliament for the reasons given by the noble Baronesses, Lady Hamwee and Lady Noakes. These amendments will introduce vital safeguards. This Committee has recognised that this temporary Bill may be on the statute book for another 10 months, despite its imperfections. The Committee has been told that pre-legislative scrutiny may take three months. The temporary measures will inevitably have a very adverse effect on individuals, including those in respect of whom there may be no more than a reasonable suspicion that they may be associated with terrorism.
In those circumstances, it is vital, in order to ensure the protection of the interests of those individuals, and to ensure that this House can perform its vital function of holding the Executive to account, and being informed about what approach this House should take to the substantive legislation when it comes forward, that we see regular reports on the operation of this Bill. The Minister referred at Second Reading, and has referred earlier, to the need for a fair balance. I cannot see what can be weighed in the balance against such a requirement, other than the very minor consideration of administrative convenience.