The draft order to renew control orders legislation was today laid before Parliament by the Home Secretary. Control orders are an important tool to deal with suspected terrorists who cannot be prosecuted or deported.
The annual report on the operation of control orders legislation by independent reviewer of terrorism legislation Lord Carlile has also been published today. This includes his analysis of the viability of the control orders regime in light of the House of Lords' judgment in June 2009, as requested by the Home Secretary.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:
"The Government has no higher priority than protecting the public from terrorism. Control orders remain an important tool to deal with a small number of suspected terrorists who cannot be prosecuted or deported.
"I believe the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 continues to strike the right balance between protecting the public and safeguarding the rights of the individual, which is why I am asking Parliament to renew the Act.
"I am also grateful to Lord Carlile for his detailed report, which we will consider carefully and respond to in due course."
In his report, Lord Carlile maintains that the control order regime remains viable and necessary, and concludes he would have reached the same decision as the Secretary of State in each case in which a control order was made in 2009.
In the report Lord Carlile concludes:
* "As the independent reviewer of terror legislation, it is my view and advice that abandoning the control orders system entirely would have a damaging effect on national security."
* "There is no better means of dealing with the serious and continuing risk posed by some individuals."
* "I have considered whether control orders can or should be replaced by something else, or even renamed. I have been unable to find, or devise, a suitable alternative for the important residue of cases that cannot be dealt with by prosecution..."
In addition, a post-legislative assessment memorandum on the 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act was laid before Parliament today. This is part of the Government's commitment to give post-legislative scrutiny to all Acts after 2005. The document reiterates the Home Secretary's commitment to the control orders regime in order to protect the public.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The debate which follows the draft renewal order will follow shortly, subject to parliamentary timetabling.
2. Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C. was appointed in 2001 as the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation.
3. The statutory consultees for the renewal of the control order legislation (the Director General of the Security Service, the Intelligence Services commissioner and the independent reviewer of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005) all continue to support the maintenance of the control order regime.
4. For further enquiries, contact the Home Office Newsdesk on 020 7035 3535.
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department