New Clause 4 - Offence of glorifying terrorism: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:45 pm on 4th July 2022.

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‘(1) This section applies to a statement that is likely to be understood by a reasonable person as a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to some or all of the members of the public in Northern Ireland, to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

(2) A person P commits an offence if—

(a) P publishes a statement to which this section applies or causes another to publish such a statement; and

(b) at the time P publishes it or causes it to be published, P—

(i) intends members of the public in Northern Ireland to be directly or indirectly encouraged or otherwise induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism; or

(ii) is reckless as to whether members of the public in Northern Ireland will be directly or indirectly encouraged or otherwise induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate such acts.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the statements that are likely to be understood by a reasonable person as indirectly encouraging the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism include every statement which—

(a) glorifies the commission or preparation in the past of Troubles-related offences; and

(b) is a statement from which members of the public in Northern Ireland could reasonably be expected to infer that what is being glorified is being glorified as conduct that should be emulated by them in existing circumstances.

(4) For the purposes of this section the questions how a statement is likely to be understood and what members of the public in Northern Ireland could reasonably be expected to infer from it must be determined having regard both—

(a) to the contents of the statement as a whole; and

(b) to the circumstances and manner of its publication.

(5) It is irrelevant for the purposes of subsections (1) to (3)—

(a) whether anything mentioned in those subsections relates to the commission, preparation or instigation of one or more particular acts of terrorism, of acts of terrorism of a particular description or of acts of terrorism generally; and

(b) whether any person is in fact encouraged or induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate any such act or Troubles-related offence.

(6) In proceedings for an offence under this section against a person P in whose case it is not proved that P intended the statement directly or indirectly to encourage or otherwise induce the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism it is a defence for P to show—

(a) that the statement neither expressed P’s views nor had P’s endorsement (whether by virtue of section 3 or otherwise); and

(b) that it was clear, in all the circumstances of the statement‘s publication, that it did not express P’s views and (apart from the possibility of P’s having been given and failed to comply with a notice under subsection (3) of that section) did not have P’s endorsement.

(7) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 years, or to a fine, or to both;

(b) on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(c) on summary conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.

(8) in considering sentencing for an offence under this section, the court will take into consideration as an aggravating factor any immunity granted to P under the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2022.’—(Gavin Robinson.)

This new clause, based on section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006, makes having received immunity under this Bill an aggravating factor in sentencing for the offence of glorifying terrorism.

Brought up, and read the First time.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.

Division number 27 Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill — New Clause 4 - Offence of glorifying terrorism: Northern Ireland

Aye: 217 MPs

No: 281 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

The Committee divided: Ayes 220, Noes 283.

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause 51 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 12 agreed to.

Clauses 52 to 57 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair.

Bill, as amended, reported.

Consideration of Bill, as amended in the Committee (Order, 29 June)

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Government manuscript new clause 1 and Government manuscript amendments 1 to 4 have been selected. They replace amendment 115 and new schedule 1, relating to sexual offences, which were agreed in Committee on Wednesday last week.