New Clause 45 — Limit on Period of Detention Without Charge of Suspected Terrorists

Part of Criminal Justice Bill — [3rd Alloted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:57 pm on 20th May 2003.

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Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 5:57 pm, 20th May 2003

I understand the Minister's arguments, but is she saying that because there are more investigations now, we are strapped for resources—the people to do the job quickly? Is she saying that the investigation of hard drives or chemical substances, for example, and checks with Interpol and foreign police forces now take place, but were not undertaken three years ago? When we looked at all the terrorism legislation, we provided not the two days that Lord Lloyd recommended or the four days that he recommended in exceptional cases, but seven days to allow for leeway. What has changed in those three years? Has there been a huge increase in the number of cases and, because we do not have enough people, we have to allow a longer period, or are those entirely different things? Some of us would be sceptical if the Minister said that they were.