Clause 43

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 13 May 2008.

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Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office 11:30, 13 May 2008

I am grateful that the hon. and learned Gentleman suggests that these are probing amendments.

Clause 42 specifies that sentences or orders of 12 months or more for relevant offences would lead to the notification requirements applying, as we have discussed. We believe that this threshold will lead to notification requirements for convicted terrorists who pose a significant risk to the community on their release from custody.

It may be found in future that the threshold captures serious offences not deemed to present sufficient risk to justify the application of the requirements because the threshold is too low. Alternatively, the threshold may be found to be too high. The clause provides the Secretary of State with an order-making power to vary the sentence or order thresholds to ensure that they remain effective, proportionate and justified. This will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny as the order is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. If the order reduces the thresholds for notification requirements, they will only apply to those dealt with after the order comes into force. However, if the order increases the thresholds, for example, from 12 months to two years, individuals who were subject to notification requirements because of a sentence of up to two years, would no longer be required to notify as from the date the order comes into force.

It is as the hon. and learned Gentleman suggests. With that explanation, I hope that the amendment will be withdrawn.