Examination of Witnesses

Part of Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 25th June 2020.

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Les Allamby:

Yes, certainly. One concern is the relative absence of safeguards around extending it beyond two years. I think there ought to be additional judicial safeguards. There ought to be a test, if you are going to extend beyond two years, as to whether there is a compelling basis for doing so.

I have concerns that the loosening of the test from the balance of probabilities to reasonable suspicion. I note that we have slalomed, going back to control orders, as to what the required burden of proof is. I note the issues David Anderson raised. I also noted that the European convention on human rights memorandum issued by the Department suggested that things had changed between 2015 and 2020, but I am unsure whether that change is sufficiently compelling to reduce the test from balance of probabilities to reasonable suspicion.

TPIMs are used in a very small number of cases. They are oppressive. None the less, they are utilised on a sparing basis. But you need additional safeguards, if you will extend them beyond two years. Two years is a significant period of time in someone’s life to restrict their freedom of movement and their liberty, to the extent that TPIMs currently do, bearing in mind some of the additional provisions that will now be contained in TPIMs.