Clause 6

Part of Serious Crime Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 28 June 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 10:15, 28 June 2007

I rise once again to support my right hon. and learned Friend’s amendments. We, too, have concerns about the broad scope of the provisions in clause 6(3) and the extent to which the prohibitions that are set out are only examples of conduct and activity that may be prohibited or restricted or the requirements that may be imposed under the serious crime prevention order. It is a non-exhaustive list and the purpose of the amendments, as my right hon. and learned Friend explained, is to make it an exhaustive list.

The restrictions in the making of control orders are similar to those set out in the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. There are close analogies between control orders and the serious crime prevention orders proposed in the Bill. In considering whether the restrictions are reasonable, it is important to look at  how control orders have been interpreted by the courts, how they have fared and, in particular, their use in relation to detaining people in their homes, which is the subject of huge controversy and is permitted in relation to serious crime prevention orders in the Bill.

There is an important difference, to which the hon. Member for Wrexham drew attention, in that the serious crime prevention orders are made by the courts and not by the Executive, although my right hon. and learned Friend explained the extent to which the Executive has an important role in all this. By contrast, control orders are made by the Executive.

It is also important to note the absence of a safeguard in making these very onerous restrictions in clause 6(3): under the control order legislation in section 8 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the prosecution—