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.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing) 6:29 pm, 17th December 2018

My Lords, this issue was also looked at in detail in Committee. The noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich, raises an important issue concerning groups that have been added to the list of proscribed organisations and that have, to all intents and purposes, stopped engaging in the activity or activities that led to them being added to the list in the first place and the risk to individuals getting caught up in that.

I have listened carefully to the issues raised in that previous debate and in today’s debate and reflected on them, but I have come to the conclusion that I am not persuaded that the change proposed by these amendments is necessary or right at this time. The first duty of government is to protect the public. As we have heard, the 2000 Act already provides a mechanism for an organisation to seek deproscription: there is detailed in Section 4 and further in Section 5 an appeals process to the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission. Further, on a point of law, organisations can go to the Court of Appeal.

I say in response to the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, that there is a process already in place and further, on the points that the noble Lord, Lord Carlile, made regarding Northern Ireland, I am not persuaded that these amendments are right today. That is not to say that the points raised by the noble Lord, Lord Anderson, could not be considered to be introduced at some point in the future, but I am not convinced on the merits of the case at this time.