Control Order Powers (11 March - 10 June 2008)

Home Department written statement – made on 12th June 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office

Section 14(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 ("the 2005 Act") requires the Secretary of State to report to Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of every relevant three-month period on the exercise of the control order powers during that period.

The level of information provided will always be subject to slight variations based on operational advice.

Control orders continue to be an essential tool to protect the public from terrorism, particularly where it is not possible to prosecute individuals for terrorism-related activity and, in the case of foreign nationals, where they cannot be removed from the UK.

As stated in previous quarterly statements on control orders, control order obligations are tailored to the individual concerned and are based on the terrorism-related risk that each individual poses. Each control order is kept under regular review to ensure that the obligations remain necessary and proportionate. The Home Office continues to hold control order review groups (CORGs) every quarter, with representation from law enforcement and intelligence agencies, to keep the obligations in every control order under regular and formal review and to facilitate a review of appropriate exit strategies. During this reporting period, five CORGs were held in relation to the orders currently in force. In addition, further meetings were held on an ad hoc basis as specific issues arose.

During the period 11 March 2008 to 10 June 2008, six non-derogating control orders were made and served, one control order was renewed in accordance with section 2(6) of the 2005 Act and two control orders were revoked. One further non-derogating control order was made but has not yet been served.

In total, 15 control orders are currently in force, three of which are in respect of British citizens. Two individuals subject to a control order live in the Metropolitan Police service area; the remaining individuals live in other police force areas. All of these control orders are non-derogating.

During this reporting period, 70 modifications of control order obligations were made. 31 requests to modify a control order obligation were refused. A right of appeal exists in sections 10(1) and 10(3) of the 2005 Act respectively against decisions by the Secretary of State to renew a non-derogating control order or modify an obligation imposed by a non-derogating control order without consent, and against decisions by the Secretary of State to refuse a request by a controlled person to modify any such obligation. Eleven appeals have been lodged with the High Court by controlled persons relating to modifications to orders or the renewal of orders in this reporting period. One application for judicial review and interim relief was also submitted to the High Court.

Four judgments have been handed down by the High Court in control order cases during this reporting period. Three of these judgments have related to the substantive reviews of control orders under section 3(10) of the 2005 Act. A judgment in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v. AE was handed down on 20 March 2008; the court upheld the necessity of the control order on national security grounds and ruled that the control order hearing complied with Article 6 of the ECHR. In the same judgment, the court dismissed an appeal by AE against the increase in the length of his curfew, but upheld an appeal relating to the restrictions on visitors to AE's residence. On 9 April 2008 a judgment was handed down in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v. AF. The court found that further disclosure of closed material by the Secretary of State would be necessary in order for the hearing to comply with Article 6 of the ECHR. The control order remains in force while an appeal by the Secretary of State is considered by the Court of Appeal.

The judgment in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v. AH was handed down on 9 May 2008; the court upheld the necessity of the control order on national security grounds and ruled that the control order was compliant with Article 5 and Article 3; the court also ruled that the hearing complied with Article 6 of the ECHR. In addition, an oral judgment was handed down in the case of GG on 2 May 2008 in which an application for interim relief was refused by the High Court.

The Secretary of State has lodged three appeals with the Court of Appeal in this reporting period. Appeals were lodged on Article 6 grounds against the High Court judgments in the cases of AN and AM which were handed down in the previous reporting period. An appeal was also lodged against the judgment in the case of AF handed down on 9 April 2008. Three appeals have been lodged by, or on behalf of, controlled persons with the Court of Appeal. AE is challenging the judgment handed down on 20 March 2008 on Article 5 and Article 6 grounds. Special advocates in the case of AF have lodged an appeal against the closed judgment handed down on 9 April 2008. AH has applied for permission to appeal the judgment handed down on 9 May 2008.