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Counter-Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 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 3:30 pm, 9th October 2008

The Minister's detailed reply was a lot more reasonable, and sounded much better, than what is actually in the Bill. He consistently referred to terrorism and associated acts that might lead to terrorism, such as training camps. In fact, however, the subsection I seek to amend just refers to a "criminal offence", which is of course much wider. My question in moving the amendment was why the subsection does not refer, as the Bill does elsewhere, to criminal offences which at least correspond to crime under UK law. Even if he cannot do so now, can the Minister give me some examples of situations where information might be held involving an individual committing a crime in a country where it was a crime—the consumption of alcohol, for example, which is certainly not a crime here?

However, the bigger issue is that the Bill refers to criminal offences and the Minister's reply was to do with crimes of terrorism. If the subsection said that, we would have far fewer worries about it. There would then be an international understanding of what sort of crime we were talking about. The subsection is drafted very widely; perhaps we could have a discussion about that between now and Report to see if there is room for movement. In the mean time, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.