Azara Blog: Lords defeat the government on terror laws

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Date published: 2006/01/17

The BBC says:

Controversial plans for new anti-terrorism laws have suffered two defeats in the House of Lords.

Peers voted to ditch plans in the Terrorism Bill for a new offence of "glorifying" terror.

And they insisted on new safeguards on laws designed to stop the spread of terrorist publications.

Lord Lloyd of Berwick, an ex-law lord, said the glorification offence could put free speech at risk. Ministers will now ask MPs to reinstate the measure.

They stress that Labour's manifesto promised the glorification law - by convention, peers do not throw out manifesto commitments.
The Terrorism Bill was introduced following the London bombings of 7 July last year, in which four suicide bombers killed 52 people.

The government originally planned a separate offence outlawing glorification of terrorism but later decided to include it as part of a more general offence covering "indirect encouragement" of terrorism.

But in the report stage debate on the Terrorism Bill, Lord Lloyd said the glorification plan was still unworkable and incomprehensible.

Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has also voiced concern that the offence of glorifying terrorism is "not sufficiently legally certain".

And peers voted by 270 to 144 to scrap the proposal.

The Lords to the rescue for the second day in a row. Unfortunately Labour will definitely push this measure through. Well, maybe it is not all bad, perhaps Blair could be gotten for "indirect encouragement" of terrorism because of his illegal invasion of Iraq: if that hasn't encouraged terrorism nothing has.

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