UK Home Secretary floats toughened anti-terror measures in Commons statement

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary John Reid [official profile] proposed a number of changes [PDF text; press release] to UK anti-terror laws in a statement to the House of Commons Thursday, calling for longer pre-charge detention of terror suspects, "enhanced" sentences, allowing electronic intercepts as evidence, and institution of "stop and question" powers for police. No formal legislation has been introduced as yet, however, and Reid said reviews and consultations on the proposed measures would be undertaken and the government was committed to discussing the issue with interested organizations, including police, the judiciary, civil liberties groups and communities. Reid also said he has asked Lord Carlile [official profile], the independent reviewer of counter-terrorism legislation, to write a report on the proposals. Reid also tempered his prior calls for the UK to opt out of the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text], a plan discouraged [JURIST report] by Lord Carlile. Now Reid appears to support rethinking the rights treaty, perhaps seeking a multinational amendment.

Incoming Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer slated to take over from incumbent Tony Blair in three weeks, said on Sunday that will support the detention limit increase [JURIST report]. Many UK Conservatives oppose extending the limit, with some calling the current 28-day limit "draconian." BBC News has more.

 

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