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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Lord Harris of Haringey Lord Harris of Haringey Labour 3:15 pm, 3rd December 2018

My Lords, in considering the amendment of the noble Baroness, Lady Jones, we have to look at the two new paragraphs (a) and (b) together. In the Bill, the Government seek to eliminate various routes by which an ingenious individual who wants, in effect, to incite people to support a terrorist organisation might create a defence. It is a combination of the two new paragraphs that seems to me to be important. An individual might claim that that they are not supporting a terrorist organisation, but merely supportive of its objectives. They might express that supportive nature of the objectives in such graphic and bloodcurdling terms that it might be deemed to have an effect on those listening to those descriptions. But of course, if they then went on to claim that they had no intention of making people act and follow that particular terrorist organisation, they would be permitted to do so.

By including both being “supportive of” the general objectives and at the same time being reckless as to the consequences of that, the Bill seems to attempt to avoid those ingenious individuals proclaiming that in fact they are not encouraging people to join a particular terrorist organisation, but are merely being supportive of the objectives of that organisation and have no intention at all of making people take action on that. The fact remains that that they have been supportive of the organisation and at the same time reckless as to the consequences. My concern with the amendment is that it actually allows two routes by which people can claim a defence when they have clearly, in the most common terms, been trying to persuade people to support a terrorist organisation. That is why I think the combination of “supportive” with the reckless intent makes a degree of sense.