Serious terrorism sentence for adults aged under 21: England and Wales

Part of Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Justice) 3:30 pm, 30th June 2020

I am grateful to the Minister for his response. However, I am not convinced that we are talking about only a handful of people. The fact that this piece of legislation grows the number of offences that could potentially fall into this cohort suggests that many more people could be caught up in it in the longer term—some of them perhaps not quite such serious offenders as some of those the Minister has described this afternoon.

The Minister says he agrees that we should have an eye to rehabilitation and that we should work hard to achieve rehabilitation. However, if I am right and he is wrong, and we do have dozens or perhaps even more young people falling into this category because of the way the Bill is drafted, there surely need to be some protections there and some opportunity for a pre-sentence report to explore specific issues around age and maturity before reporting to a judge who will make the ultimate decision.

On the basis that this measure could affect many more people than the Minister suggests, and that some of them might not be the most serious offenders, I wish to press the amendment to a vote.