Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill

Explanatory Notes

Territorial extent and application

28. Clause 10 sets out the territorial extent of the Bill (the jurisdiction of which the law forms a part). The provisions of the Bill extend and apply (where the law produces a practical effect) to England, Wales and Scotland. Counter-terrorism is a reserved matter, although prisons and sentencing (including release provisions) are devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Bill will apply to those convicted of relevant terrorist offences in Scotland, and Northern Ireland and who are subsequently transferred into the jurisdiction of England and Wales.

29. The Bill relates to reserved matters in Scotland and excepted matters in Northern Ireland, as it contains "special provisions for dealing with terrorism": see paragraph B.8 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998, and paragraph 17 of Schedule 2 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998. However, prisons and sentencing (including release provisions) are devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

30. There is a convention that Westminster will not normally legislate with regard to matters that are within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly without the consent of the legislature concerned. The government is of the view that a Legislative Consent Motion will be required from the Scottish Parliament on the basis that the Bill alters the executive functions of the Scottish Ministers in relation to release of prisoners.

31. See the table in Annex A for a summary of the position regarding territorial extent and application in the United Kingdom. The table also summarises the position regarding legislative consent motions.

 

Prepared 10th February 2020