Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:29 pm on 17th December 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Carlile of Berriew Lord Carlile of Berriew Crossbench 6:29 pm, 17th December 2018

I am very grateful to my noble friend, who is more up to date than I am. My understanding is that the only fully contested application was from the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, which won in front of POAC. The Government appealed and the Court of Appeal issued a judgment comprehensively disagreeing with the Government. The People’s Mujahedin of Iran—or the NCRI, which includes the PMOI—now functions openly throughout Europe, although its leader, Mrs Rajavi, is not allowed by the Home Office to enter the United Kingdom. My noble friend Lord Pannick and I remember this to our cost, because we were involved in a Supreme Court case on that very subject.

There is a method of seeking de-proscription. It is expensive and quite clunky, it has to be accepted. Secondly, I absolutely agree with my noble friend that there may be some organisations that have almost no membership, which do not have the resources to apply for de-proscription, and which individuals would not wish to expose themselves as being interested in by applying for de-proscription on their behalf.

However, there is another point I wanted to mention. This is a very subtle matter, particularly in Northern Ireland. It is very difficult to read the minds of some former paramilitaries, both big and small. For all we know, they may have reasons for wishing to remain proscribed. My concern about Amendments 32A and 32B relates to the wording of proposed new subsection (6A)(d), which requires the Government to “publish each such decision”. Having been involved from time to time in the area we are talking about, I believe that would potentially raise compromises for national security and undermine the stability of Northern Ireland, if that part of the amendment was required. That said, the addition of the words,

“that it is or has been concerned in terrorism”,

in Amendment 32A, which I understand from my noble friend was tabled in the last fortnight or so, provides some welcome clarity. I will give way, and then I will continue briefly.