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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:45 pm on 29th October 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Hamwee Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Immigration) 8:45 pm, 29th October 2018

My Lords, we have debated Clause 4 pretty thoroughly. I will make just a couple of points and ask a question to add to the agenda that I suspect we will come back to at the next stage.

I make my two points on behalf of the JCHR. There is concern that Clause 4 criminalises conduct that is not in itself wrongful or inherently criminal in nature. That adds to the previous point made by the noble Lord, Lord Anderson. It attracts a potentially very high penalty. Secondly, the question of boundaries of territory under the control of terrorist organisations—or, more widely, places where there is concern about British citizens going—is one of not just agility but clarity. It may be difficult to designate areas with sufficient clarity for citizens to regulate their conduct accordingly.

My question concerns the exception that no offence is committed if,

“the person is already travelling to, or is already in, the area … and … leaves the area before the end of the period of one month”,

after the notification. The Government have clearly thought hard about this and realised that people may be caught in a difficult situation. Have they thought about how people will be told that if they stay beyond a month they are committing a criminal offence? It may be that the thinking has not gone that far, but given the indication that the Government have tried to put themselves, at any rate in this provision, into the minds and the shoes of those who may be affected, I am interested to know if they have thought through the practicalities.