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Counter-Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 9th October 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Spokesperson in the Lords, Home Affairs 3:15 pm, 9th October 2008

This subsection allows a law enforcement authority to use information not held subject to existing statutory restrictions in the prevention of the detection of a crime. It applies even if the act is not an offence under UK jurisdiction, if it is a criminal offence in another country. That would seem to allow for some odd investigations, for example, in the case of adultery or alcohol consumption, which are illegal in certain Middle Eastern states. Will the Minister help me by giving some examples of situations where information not held subject to existing statutory restrictions might be used in the investigation of an act that is a crime in another country, but not in the United Kingdom?

Why does this subsection not refer to criminal offences which correspond to a crime under the law of part of the UK, as the Bill does elsewhere? It deals with information that has been obtained and held by unusual means. It may often be sensitive information. We have tabled the amendment to ensure that the information can only be used in a responsible way which corresponds to laws passed in the UK. At this stage it is a probing amendment, but how probing it is depends rather on the Minister's reply. I beg to move.