Counter Terrorism and National Security Bills Project

This project included drafting extensive consultation documents, briefings, webinars and podcasts

As the Coronavirus pandemic rages on, the government has quickly sought to push through a raft of legislation purporting to deal with terrorism and national security issues. 

According to the government, the new Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill 2020 aims to protect the public by keeping the offender in custody longer and imposing stringent conditions when released. Further, it seeks to introduce draconian changes to Terrorism Prevention & Investigation Measures (TPIMs) which are imposed on those that present a ‘threat to national security’. 

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) Bill 2020, according to the government, is crucial in preventing and safeguarding victims from many serious crimes including terrorism, drugs and firearms offences and child sexual exploitation. The Bill provides an express power to authorise CHIS to participate in conduct which would otherwise constitute a criminal offence. 

And finally, the Overseas Operations (service personnel and Veterans) Bill 2020, according to the government, will provide greater legal protections to armed forces personnel and veterans serving on military operations overseas. 

Human rights activists argue that these Bills are alarming and go too far. On the one hand, we see the creation of an ineffective and draconian regime which does little or nothing to address the root causes of terrorists’ offending behaviour. And, on the other hand, we see the handing over of wide-ranging powers to State agencies to operate above the rule of law, to commit crimes at home and abroad, with impunity. 

Please read the Briefings (published by SOAS) and Consultation Document on these proposed Bills prepared by our team of lawyers.

Project Dates: June - December 2020

Briefing by MLAG on the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill 2020 published by SOAS 

Briefing by MLAG on the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill 2020 published by SOAS 

​Review of the Counter-Terrorism & Sentencing Bill 2020

This pdf document sets out a summary of each part of the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill 2020 and a detailed commentary upon the proposed provisions.