Control Order Powers (11 June to 10 September 2008)

Home Department written statement – made on 15th September 2008.

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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 individual poses. Each control order is kept under regular review to ensure that 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, three 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 June 2008 to 10 September 2008, one new non-derogating control order was made. Six non-derogating control orders were renewed in accordance with section 2(6) of the 2005 Act. In total, 16 control orders are currently in force, four of which are in respect of British citizens. Three 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, 120 modifications of control order obligations were made. Sixty-one 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. Ten 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 of these appeals was subsequently withdrawn.

Seven judgments have been handed down by the High Court in control order cases during this reporting period. Three of these judgments have been handed down in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v. Abu Rideh. An interim judgment in a modification appeal was handed down on 23 June 2008 in which the court ordered that a modification be made to Abu Rideh's reporting requirements. Final judgment was reserved until the conclusion of the substantive review of the control order under section 3(10) of the 2005 Act. Following the hearing under section 3(10) in July a judgment was handed down on 8 August 2008 in relation to the issue of compliance with article 6 of ECHR (a closed version of the judgment was handed down on 31 July 2008). The court ordered that further disclosure of the closed case against Abu Rideh should be made available to him or withdrawn from the case. No appeals against this judgment have been submitted by either side as yet. A further interim judgment in relation to modification appeals submitted by Abu Rideh was handed down on 15 August 2008. The court ordered some further modifications to Abu Rideh's reporting and visitor obligations but upheld the Secretary of State's decision to refuse to allow Abu Rideh to have access to the internet.

Two of the judgments handed down in this reporting period relate to the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v. AP. A closed judgment in relation to article 6 compliance was handed down on 14 July 2008. A judgment was handed down in the substantive 3(10) review of AP's control order on 15 August 2008. The court found that there was reasonable suspicion that AP is, or has been, involved in terrorism-related activity and that a control order is necessary to protect the public from a risk of terrorism. The court also found that no further disclosure was necessary in order to ensure compliance with article 6. The judgment dealt with two modification appeals lodged by the controlled person. On the first appeal, the court found that a modification made to AP's control order by the Secretary of State had created a package of obligations which was in breach of article 5. AP was subsequently served with a modified control order. The second appeal in relation to restrictions on meetings and mosque attendance was dismissed. Both AP and the Secretary of State have sought permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal; decisions with regard to permission are pending.

Two judgments have been handed down in other cases in relation to modification appeals lodged by controlled persons. A judgment was handed down in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v. AE on 21 July 2008 in which the court upheld the Secretary of State's decision to refuse AE permission to study AS level human biology and chemistry. On 31 July 2008 a judgment was handed down in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v. AU and AV in which the court dismissed appeals by the controlled persons against the Secretary of State's refusal to make various modifications to the control order obligations.

Full judgments are available at: http://www.bailii.org/

Annotations

neil scott
Posted on 22 Sep 2008 12:05 pm

This annotation has been removed