APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE |
Call for Evidence
A new Joint Committee has been appointed by both
Houses of Parliament to conduct pre-legislative scrutiny on the
draft Detention of Terrorist Suspects (Temporary Extension) Bills.
The draft Detention of Terrorist Suspect (Temporary
Extension) Bills were published by the Home Office on 11 February.
The bills are potential pieces of emergency legislation that would
be introduced only in exceptional circumstances and provide for
the temporary extension of the maximum pre-charge detention period
for terror suspects from 14 to 28 days.
The Joint Committee comprises 6 MPs and 6 peers.
It will take oral and written evidence and make recommendations
in a report by 9 June.
The Committee invites interested organisations and
individuals to submit written evidence as part of its inquiry.
The areas it will examine include:
The case for contingency powers to extend the
period available for pre-charge detention beyond 14 days
- Do the proposals strike the right balance between
justice and public protection?
- In what circumstances, and against what criteria,
might it be necessary for the period available for pre-charge
detention to be extended beyond 14 days?
The procedure for introducing a contingency power
to extend the period available for pre-charge detention:
- Is the extension of pre-charge detention for
terrorism suspects best dealt with in a specific emergency Bill,
or should it be explicitly provided for in a more general legal
framework for dealing with emergencies, such as the Civil Contingencies
- Is fast-tracked primary legislation a practical
way of introducing contingency powers to extend the period available
for pre-charge detention? What are the possible dangers of requiring
primary legislation be passed when a power is urgently needed?
What are the possible advantages?
- Are there other, preferable options for creating
a contingency power to increase the period available for pre-charge
detention in urgent circumstances?
- Will the change from an annually renewable order,
to reactive fast-track legislation increase parliament's ability
properly to scrutinise the need for, and use of, extended pre-charge
- In the event that either of the draft bills are
introduced, how will Ministers be able to give Parliament appropriate
information about why the contingency powers are needed at that
- What information would Parliament need in order
to take an informed decision about whether the legislation is
- How can parliamentary debate be handled so that
Members can scrutinise the need for the legislation without undermining
ongoing investigations, compromising national security or prejudicing
- Is it appropriate for parliament, rather than
the courts alone, to decide whether extended detention may be
necessary in a particular case?
The judicial authorisation process for extending
pre-charge detention beyond 14 days:
- Is the judicial authorisation process in Schedule
8 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (as amended) compatible with the right
to a fair hearing? Should anything be done to strengthen this
- Could extra requirements be added to the legislation
to improve the scrutiny of the use of extended pre-charge detention
powers if and when they are used?
You need not address all these questions. Short submissions
are preferred. A submission longer than six pages should include
a one-page summary.
Submissions, which should be original and not copies
of papers written for the Counter Terrorism Review or any other
inquiry, must be received by 20 April.