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Clause 19

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:45 pm on 29th April 2008.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Shadow Minister (Olympics and London), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Olympics and London) 5:45 pm, 29th April 2008

Amendment No. 11 has been grouped with amendment No. 89 and I would like to refer briefly to that. Amendment No. 11 is the embodiment of the concerns expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (David Howarth), who is not a member of  the Committee but has a passing academic interest. Although clause 19(1) is clearly permissive—it says that a person “may disclose information”—this probing amendment is to seek confirmation that there are no circumstances in which, perhaps in interaction with other legislation, that permissive “may disclose information” might turn into a requirement to disclose information, and might be used in a more aggressive way to seek information, resulting in the person from whom the information is being sought feeling that it is not being extracted in a permissive manner. It is a probing amendment to reassure us that disclosure is entirely permissive, and that there is no possibility that it may be used in a more aggressive manner.