New Clause 6 — Power to make control orders

Part of Orders of the Day — Prevention of Terrorism Bill – in the House of Commons at 11:15 pm on 28th February 2005.

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Photo of John Denham John Denham Chair, Home Affairs Committee 11:15 pm, 28th February 2005

I cannot answer for the Home Secretary, but I believe that he said earlier that he is willing to look at the schedule's wording. However, it is a shame that that has to be done in another place, rather than here. Round-tripping of the sort that my hon. Friend describes would clearly be unacceptable, because that would be getting into the territory of Executive action untrammelled by judicial review. [Interruption.]

I hear a number of Members asking how I can say that the proposal does not constitute Executive detention. A process initiated by the Home Secretary, swiftly followed by a judicial process, cannot be equated with those regimes around the world in which people are locked up simply on the say so of politicians. To make that equation is to distort what has taken place; none the less, the danger that the Government must recognise is that that is how the Bill will be presented in the popular language, unless it is further amended. The only way out of this situation now is to have an initial judicial role for all types of control order.

I finish on this note. However hard we now work to get the Bill in order, it is only a stop-gap measure. It cannot provide the lasting framework that we need to deal with a problem that, I am afraid, will be with us for many years.