Clause 7 - Urgent cases: reference to the court etc
Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill
Gerry Sutcliffe (Shadow Minister (Home Affairs); Bradford South, Labour)
I shall not detain the Committee too long. The clause gives effect to schedule 2, which makes provision for cases in which the Secretary of State imposes measures on an individual without first obtaining the permission of the court. Such measures will be used in exceptional circumstances and for urgent cases. Will the Minister indicate the type of event for which the provision will be called into play?
James Brokenshire (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department; Old Bexley and Sidcup, Conservative)
Clause 7 gives effect to schedule 2, which makes provision for urgent cases in which the Secretary of State may impose measures on an individual without first obtaining the permission of the court, as the hon. Gentleman says.
There are similar provisions relating to control orders in the 2005 Act. I confirm that this urgent and exceptional power has been used only once since control orders were introduced. In all other cases, it has been possible to obtain court permission in advance, and that will always be the preferred option.
The hon. Gentleman asks in what type of cases the Government will consider using the urgent procedure. As I have said, it would be used in rare and exceptional cases when there was an operational need to avoid any delay in taking measures that might be considered necessary to protect the public, such as in a case when intelligence might suggest that a person was planning imminently to travel abroad for terrorist training and measures were to be imposed to prevent that travel.
That is the sort of example in which the procedure might be appropriate, but obviously we cannot second-guess the situation. I would not want to try to bind the hands of the Secretary of State in this Committee, but I hope that that example is helpful to the hon. Gentleman as a suggestion of the type of circumstances in which the procedure might be necessary.