Clause 11 - Review of ongoing necessity

Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 30 June 2011.

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Question proposed,That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Labour, Wythenshawe and Sale East

I want to ensure that the Minister gives us a full explanation. In response to my question, he just said that he was looking forward to discussing clause 11 and explaining how the review procedure will operate. What format will it take and how regular will it be? The Committee would welcome further information.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I am happy to provide that information.

Clause 11 places a duty on the Secretary of State to keep under review the ongoing necessity of both the TPIM notice itself and the measures specified in it— conditions C and D. In that context, I refer members of the Committee back to clause 3, which sets out those conditions. This requirement writes into legislation the effect of existing case law. In that regard, I refer right hon. and hon. Members to the Court of Appeal case of the Secretary of State for the Home Department v. MB. We wish to remove any doubt that, while it remains in force, a TPIM notice is assessed to remain necessary at all times. If it is assessed that the notice itself or any of the specified measures are no longer necessary, this statutory duty will require either the revocation of the notice or the removal of the particular measures.

As well as frequent ad hoc reviews, there will be a formal quarterly review of each case in which measures are currently in force. This will bring together all relevant departments and agencies involved in imposing and maintaining terrorism prevention investigation measures. The purpose will be to ensure in each case that the TPIM notice and the measures specified in it individually and cumulatively remain necessary and proportionate, given the latest intelligence and other assessments. This review will monitor the impact of the restrictions on the individual, including any mental or physical health issues and any impact on their family. If the objective of the measures—the disruption of terrorist-related activity—is achieved and the threat that the individual poses is reduced sufficiently, or the measures are otherwise no longer necessary, the notice would be revoked. The same goes for any specific measures.

The review will also consider whether there could be other measures for satisfactorily managing the risk posed.

Photo of Stephen Phillips Stephen Phillips Conservative, Sleaford and North Hykeham

When the TPIM measure is imposed, there is essentially a review by the court. As the Minister has now told us, although I do not think it is written into the legislation, it is contemplated that there will be quarterly reviews to check that conditions C and D remain met during the currency of the TPIM measure. In the light of what the Minister has just said, if that is not the case, or if there are changes, alterations to the specific measure that has been imposed can take place. There is a slight discrepancy between the regular reviews and the situation in which the TPIM was initially imposed, because the review mechanism is not, as I understand it, subject to review by the court, notwithstanding the Minister’s comments from which it is contemplated that there may be alterations as a result of which changed circumstances make an alteration to the TPIM necessary.

It may be impossible— it may be too expensive or inappropriate—but I wonder whether the Government have considered regular reviews by the courts when there has also been an alteration in circumstances, given what we are doing in terms of civil liberties and the rights of the subject.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The case law sets out the underlying duty to which I referred. In the case of MB, the judgment stated that

“it is the duty of the Secretary of State to keep the decision to impose a control order under review, so that the restrictions that it imposes, whether on civil rights or Convention rights, are no greater than necessary.”

That is the context for control orders, and we have learnt from the court experience and jurisprudence that has grown up around them. We seek to imply those lessons and to apply them formally in the legislation, which is one reason why clause 11 is framed in that way.

It is worth pointing out to my hon. and learned Friend that, given any alterations to the TPIM notice, the individual has the right of appeal under clause 16. Similar points that he or other hon. and right hon. Members might make can equally well be picked up under clause 16, when we reach it.

The work of the control order review group on control orders and the relevant measures is worth recognising. Something we did not discuss in detail at the evidence session, but to which it is worth referring the Committee, is what Lord Carlile said in his most recent annual report on the operation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. He commented positively on the work of the control order review group, and on how it was organised and methodical. I pay tribute to the group and its work on the existing control orders regime. We will therefore learn from experience in the future application of the TPIMs regime.

With those comments, I hope that the Committee will be minded to allow the clause to stand part of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 11accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.