Terrorism sentence with fixed licence period: Northern Ireland

Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 2nd July 2020.

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

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendment 32.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 12:30 pm, 2nd July 2020

I thank the Committee for its rousing endorsement of the previous schedule.

The purpose of clause 24 is to make amendments to provide for a new terrorism sentence with a fixed licence period. This is necessary to ensure an approach consistent with Northern Irish law. The Treatment of Offenders Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 is amended to ensure that any offender may have the length of their terrorism sentence reduced by any relevant period spent in police detention or custody. There are further amendments, with broadly similar objectives, made to the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.

More generally, clause 24 seeks to make amendments to terrorism sentences in Northern Ireland in a way that is consistent with the measures we have discussed already. The structure of sentences is a little different in Northern Ireland, hence the slight differences in this clause, but the offer is in effect that the minimal one-year licence period is the same as those discussed already for England, Wales and Scotland.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 24 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.