Orders of the Day — Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:24 pm on 26th October 2005.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary 1:24 pm, 26th October 2005

This aspect of the Bill is compatible with the convention because the whole Bill is compatible, but my hon. Friend raises an interesting point. I discuss how to deal with terrorism with colleagues in the EU, the US, Russia and other countries, yet our legal system adopts a different approach from many others. That is why I referred to the report from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about how these matters are dealt with in a variety of other jurisdictions and systems. I acknowledge that completely different legal systems are involved, but in the EU and other countries people can be held for very long periods—up to four years—while charges are investigated. We must look at that, and I accept that legal systems vary widely. However, we discuss these questions a lot, and I repeat that the Bill is compatible with the European convention.