Since the Security Service is neither a prosecuting authority nor responsible for criminal investigations, we are not, and never have been, the appropriate body to advise the Government on pre-charge detention time limits.
We have not, therefore, sought to comment publicly or privately on the current proposals, except to say that we recognise the challenge posed for the police service by the increasingly complex and international character of some recent terrorist cases.
The government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown risks defeat on the measure, which is opposed by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats as well as by some 30 members of Brown's own Labour Party.
UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said Tuesday that the bill was being amended [JURIST report] to apply only in cases of "grave and exceptional" terrorist threats. Current British law authorizes detention without charge for 28 days [JURIST report].
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