New Clause 6 — Power to make control orders

Part of Orders of the Day — Prevention of Terrorism Bill – in the House of Commons at 11:06 pm on 28th February 2005.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 11:06 pm, 28th February 2005

I hear what the hon. Gentleman says, and I note his intention. I am grateful for his support in the Lobby earlier, but I am saddened that he now feels able to support the Bill in a triumph of hope over experience. I am surprised that he puts his trust in an unelected House rather than in this elected House of Commons to get the legislation right.

There are many points that we have not had an opportunity to debate: the standard of evidence required to deprive someone of his liberty, or restrict his liberty; the rules of court and the admissibility of evidence, and the degree to which evidence can be shared. Of course we understand that there are matters that it would not be proper to share with the accused in this instance because of the risk to security, but it would not be impossible to devise protocols allowing people at least to know the broad outline of the charge against them. That is the basis of our judicial system, and it is not one to be lightly thrown aside. We have had no opportunity to make prosecution under the laws of the land—in a proper court, conducted through the Director of Public Prosecutions—a priority in statute.