Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill - Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 29th October 2018.

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Photo of Lord Paddick Lord Paddick Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 6:15 pm, 29th October 2018

My Lords, I support the amendments in this group, although I have some reservations about all of them now that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, has spoken. However, I have concerns about Amendment 14, in the names of the noble Lords, Lord Rosser and Lord Kennedy of Southwark, for the reasons I have expressed in previous groups about having a blanket exemption for journalism and academic research. A terrorist could access information with the intention of committing a terrorist act but could claim that it was for the purposes of journalism or academic research. Surely the acid test should be the intention of that person, not the content of the material.

I have added my name to Amendment 15, in the names of my noble friend Lady Hamwee and the noble Baroness, Lady Lawrence of Clarendon, although I accept what was said by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, with his wisdom and legal background. Obviously the intention of the amendments is to suggest that the law is not clear here about what would amount to a reasonable excuse. Perhaps the mechanism suggested in the amendments is not the right one, and, as the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, has alluded to, maybe the approach outlined in amendments that we will consider shortly is the right one. However, there is concern about what would amount to a reasonable excuse under this clause.