London: Terrorist Attacks

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:55 pm on 20th July 2005.

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Photo of Lord Lloyd of Berwick Lord Lloyd of Berwick Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee), Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee) 3:55 pm, 20th July 2005

My Lords, I have brief questions on each of the three new proposed offences. First, I welcome most strongly the new offence of preparing to commit an act of terrorism. That was first recommended many years ago by a committee under Lord Gardner, when he was Lord Chancellor. It was recommended again in my report in 1995, and when the 2000 Act was going through I tried to introduce an offence of that nature, which was resisted at the time by the Government on the grounds that it was not the way ahead. I hope that my question is not out of order, but why has it taken the Government so long to see the light about that?

On the question of training, I am not clear why the area is not already covered by Section 54 of the 2000 Act. As for indirect incitement, I have great difficulty in distinguishing between direct and indirect incitement. If a man condones or glorifies acts of terrorism with the intention of inciting, which appears to be the essence of the new offence, why is that not already covered by the common law offence of incitement? I hope that having seen the light on preparing to commit an act of terrorism, it may still be possible for the Government to see the light on interception of communications.