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The Lord Bishop of Liverpool: My Lords, in recognising the importance of partnerships in the community, is the noble Baroness aware of the small number of schools in areas of multiple deprivation that run parenting programmes? Are there any plans to invest in schools in urban areas so that they can develop those programmes to great effect in the respect agenda?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, there is an opportunity for that to happen. I mentioned the £28 million that we shall give for intensive family support projects. The right reverend Prelate is right: through the moneys being made available to the DfES, we already have many programmes run by schools in conjunction with voluntary sector agencies to help parents through the difficult period from the time children first go to school to the time they go to university. That is being done voluntarily. All we can do to support that initiative is important. We intend to be holistic in the way in which we respond.
 
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Parliament (Participation of Members of the House of Commons) Bill [HL]

3.06 pm

Lord Baker of Dorking: My Lords, I beg to introduce a Bill to provide for the Speaker of the House of Commons to have power to determine the eligibility of Members of the House of Commons to participate in certain legislative proceedings of that House. I beg to move that this Bill be now read a first time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a first time.—(Lord Baker of Dorking.)

On Question, Bill read a first time, and ordered to be printed.

Constitutional Reform (Prerogative Powers and Civil Service etc.) Bill [HL]

Lord Lester of Herne Hill: My Lords, I beg to introduce a Bill to place under the authority of Parliament executive powers exercisable by Ministers of the Crown by virtue of the Royal prerogative; to make provision relating to the appointment and conduct of, and general duties relating to, civil servants and special advisers; to make provision about nationality requirements for persons employed or holding office in a civil capacity under the Crown; to establish a procedure for the making of certain public appointments; and to make provision about access to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration; and for connected purposes. I beg to move that this Bill be now read a first time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a first time.—(Lord Lester of Herne Hill.)

On Question, Bill read a first time, and ordered to be printed.

Terrorism Bill

3.07 pm

Report received.

Clause 1 [Encouragement of terrorism]:

[Amendment No. 1 not moved.]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal) moved Amendment No. 2:

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 2, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 3. These are both relatively minor amendments and I hope that we shall not have to spend too long debating them. However, before explaining the detail of the amendments, I should like to say a little about the Government's general approach with regard to Clauses 1 and 2.
 
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I hope that all noble Lords will have read the amendments and will be aware of the broad package that we now propose. Our broad aim is now to insert "intent" and "recklessness" into Clause 2. As part of this package we also propose to revise wording in Clauses 1, 3 and 28. I am confident that this package will satisfy the concerns expressed, in particular by my noble friends Lord Eatwell and Lady Warwick but echoed by the noble Baroness, Lady Williams, and a number of other noble Lords. Before we go into the detail of these issues, it is right that I should explain these relatively minor amendments. I hope that we can end this part of the debate quickly.

Amendment No. 2 clarifies that a statement will fall under Clause 1 if it is likely to encourage some or all members of its audience to commit, prepare for or instigate acts of terrorism or convention offences. This amendment is intended to provide greater clarity in the Bill, but does not change the way in which we have all in practice understood this clause.

Amendment No. 3 would remove the redundant expression. I realise that we have discussed this provision previously and I argued that it should be kept. On reflection, however, it became clear that the wording in question does not make any beneficial difference to the offence and can be taken out in the interests of brevity and clarity. I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, for bringing this provision to my attention at an earlier stage.

Amendment No. 13 is a technical, consequential amendment, necessitated by government Amendment No. 4. It would not change the meaning of the offence in any substantial way. I therefore urge your Lordships to support these government amendments, crafted so beautifully as they are. I beg to move.

Lord Kingsland: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her introduction, which has helped the Bill to be looked at dispassionately and objectively at Report in the light of the Government's general framework. All the issues which the Minister raised will be considered in detail, line by line, during the afternoon. For those reasons, I do not propose to say anything further at this stage.

Lord Cameron of Lochbroom: My Lords, will the Minister explain a problem I have with the amendment so far as it introduces the words "some or all of" in respect of the members of the public? Subsection (3) of Clause 1 uses the phrase,

Subsection (3)(b) is worded,

Are "those members of the public" "some or all of the members of the public" or is some different concept in mind? I raise the matter because the phrase "some or all of"—in respect of persons, for instance—appears throughout Clause 2 in relation to what would
 
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otherwise be members of the public. Will the Minister explain why the words "some or all of the" are not added to Clause 1(3)?

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: My Lords, does "some members of the public" rule out one member of the public?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, the matter in the amendment to which the noble and learned Lord, Lord Cameron of Lochbroom, referred, and the question of the noble Baroness, are taken up by Amendment No. 68A, proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Elton, who is not in his place. I am loath to go into the detail, but suffice it say that subsection (3) is automatically limited by subsection (1). I hope that helps the noble and learned Lord.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 3:

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal moved Amendment No. 4:


(i) intends members of the public to be directly or indirectly encouraged or otherwise induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism or Convention offences; or
(ii) is reckless as to whether members of the public will be directly or indirectly encouraged or otherwise induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate such acts or offences."

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, these amendments are more comprehensive in nature. In moving the amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 5, 16, 19, 20, 21, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 36, 40, 44 and 80, which stand in my name and concern Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 28.

The key changes that these amendments bring forward relate to the opening clauses of the Bill, in particular the new offence of disseminating terrorist publications. This new offence encompasses all those who disseminate extremist material. We have made it clear throughout the passage of this Bill that the offence is intended to target two types of publications: those that may encourage terrorism, and those that may be of use to terrorists, such as training manuals.

We should not ignore the contributory role that radical texts and extremist pamphlets have in radicalisation. They serve to propagate and reinforce the extremist and damaging philosophies which attempt to justify and explain the motivations of terrorists. We should not underestimate the role that such literature can have in radicalising vulnerable and susceptible young people, particularly changing Muslims from law-abiding members of the community to potential terrorists.
 
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Equally, the ability of terrorists to exchange information on techniques and tactics in order to enhance their ability to prepare and commit terrorist acts needs to be disrupted as effectively as possible. We have seen that through the data we have had and discussed during Committee and our debates earlier. While under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 it is already an offence to create or possess information that is likely to be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, it is not currently an offence to disseminate that material. We want to change that situation.

For understandable reasons, many noble Lords on all sides of the House have spoken at length about the potential risk that they believed this offence posed to legitimate activities. While paying due attention to these concerns, we should not allow them to deflect us from the real issues which we need to confront, and which this clause will allow the security and law enforcement agencies to tackle more effectively. There is a real evil that needs to be addressed and this clause will allow us to address it.

At the same time as wanting to prevent extremism in our communities and to provide our law enforcement agencies with the most effective tools to disrupt and combat terrorism, the Government have always been conscious that we need to steer a careful line between these intentions and the freedoms we cherish. Much of the concern expressed in Committee focused on whether the Government have placed that line in the right place. There was not a difference between us as to the need to do it; it was just where that line should be drawn, in particular with reference to the concerns of those in the academic circles and within the UK library community.

It has never been our intention, as noble Lords know, to curb the activities of legitimate booksellers, librarians or academics engaged in the study of terrorism, such as those at the University of St Andrews which was rightly mentioned by the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy of Lour. As I explained in Committee, we did not believe that the Bill as it stood would have had this effect. We maintain that belief. However, the Government are a listening government, as I hope we have demonstrated on many occasions. I have, in particular, considered deeply the comments of my noble friends Lord Eatwell and Lady Warwick, and those of the noble Baroness, Lady Williams of Crosby, the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, and noble Lords on all Benches, who have expressed anxiety about the issue. Their contributions have led me to reflect on how we could best meet these proper concerns.

Accordingly, I have tabled a number of amendments which insert intent with subjective recklessness into the new offence of disseminating terrorist publications in Clause 2, which mirror the same tests that exist in Clause 1. I have also tabled amendments to modify the wording of Clause 1. I do not believe that the amendments change the effect of Clause 1 in any significant way, but they allow the offence in Clause 2 to operate on the same principles as that in Clause 1, to the extent that that is possible
 
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in a different offence. We listened very carefully to the arguments about the synergy between the two and the importance of having consistency, and we have tried to reflect that in the way in which the amendments have been drafted.

The prosecution under the amended Clause 2 will have to prove that a person disseminating a terrorist publication either intended to encourage terrorism or to provide information of use to terrorists, or that the person was reckless to the possibility that someone would be encouraged to commit acts of terrorism or would find the material useful in the commission of acts of terrorism. Those changes are proposed in Amendments Nos. 19 and 20. The changes to Clause 1 to which I have referred are in Amendment No. 4.

The inclusion of intent and recklessness in Clause 2 will, I am confident, be welcomed by my noble friends Lord Eatwell and Lady Warwick of Undercliffe as well, I hope, by both opposition parties. My noble friends and noble Lords in opposition parties can be reassured that whatever concerns they had about the potential impact of the Bill have now been addressed—and, I hope, addressed properly.

I am pleased to see the noble Lords, Lord Kingsland and Lord Goodhart, and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, in their places, representing as they do a spectrum of political positions in this House. They have all tabled amendments—Amendments Nos. 17 and 18—which would have had the same effect as Amendments Nos. 19 and 20. Of course, in view of the fact that the government amendments achieve the same effect but do so in the context of a package of proposed amendments that will ensure that the Bill remains technically effective, I invite and urge noble Lords, especially those I have mentioned, not to press Amendments Nos. 17 and 18 when we come to them and to support the government Amendments Nos. 19 and 20, with related Amendment No. 4, which changes Clause 1.

Before I turn to the amendments in this group that have been tabled by noble Lords opposite, I should explain at a little greater length the other amendments that I have tabled. Many relate to the major changes to Clause 2, which I will now explain. Others are of a more technical nature. I am sure that many noble Lords are anxious to express their support for the amendments, so I shall comment on the relatively minor amendments as briefly as possible.

Amendments Nos. 28 and 29 are technical amendments. Amendment No. 28 seeks to make a particular expression clearer in the context of the wording and structure of the offence as a whole, which we shall seek to introduce. Amendment No. 29 seeks to change an internal reference in the light of a new package of amendments. Neither of those amendments effects any substantial change to the meaning of the offence. Amendment No. 30 inserts into Clause 2 a provision mirroring Clause 1(5)(b); it makes it clear that the offence can be committed whether or not anyone is in fact encouraged to commit acts of terrorism or finds information useful in committing acts of terrorism. That is because we are
 
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convinced that when prosecuting someone under this clause, the prosecution should have to demonstrate only the state of mind of the person making the statement, not the audience hearing it. We believe that the provision is entirely reasonable; it also ensures that the offence in Clause 2 can operate on the same principles as the offence in Clause 1, as far as possible.

Amendments Nos. 15, 16, 31, 36 and 40 give effect to changes that I signalled in Committee. Amendment No. 15 generalises the defences in Clause 1 that the person publishing the statement did not endorse it and that it was clear in all the circumstances that he did not, so that it is available to everyone, not just those providing a service electronically. It also restricts it to those who commit the offence recklessly. After all, it is our belief that there is no reason why a defence should be available to those who commit the offence intentionally.

Amendment No. 16 is a technical provision that clarifies the provision relating to the assessment of a statement that could fall under Clause 1. It makes it clear that the circumstances that need to be taken into account are those of the statement's publication. Amendment No. 36 plays a role similar to that of Amendment No. 15, but in Clause 2. It generalises the defence in Clause 2(9)—that is, that the person disseminating the publication did not endorse those parts that constituted an encouragement of terrorism and that it was clear in all the circumstances that he did not. Therefore, the defence is available to everyone, not just to those providing a service electronically.

Amendment No. 40 removes the defence that was available in relation to the dissemination of material of use to terrorists, because that defence provided that a person had a defence if he did not intend the matter in the publication to be of use to terrorists. That is now unnecessary, as intention is part of the offence. In any case, such material, unless it also fell into the category of material encouraging terrorism, would not be capable of being endorsed. This amendment also restricts the defence relating to material that encourages terrorism to those who commit the offence recklessly.

Clause 31 removes the defence in Clause 2(8), which was originally intended to provide protection for libraries but is now redundant in the light of the generalised defence in Clause 2(9) and the insertion of the notions of intent and recklessness into Clause 2. The final government amendments arising from the changes to Clause 2 are Amendments Nos. 44 and 80. These are purely technical in nature and ensure that internal references will still be correct. For all these reasons, I urge your Lordships to support Amendments Nos. 2, 3, 4, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 36, 40, 44 and 80. I am confident that noble Lords have held all those numbers firmly in their minds.

I turn now to the amendments tabled by members of your Lordships' House who sit opposite or on the Cross Benches. Before I address those that have been tabled with regard to Clause 2, I should like to make some comment on Amendment No. 5. This seeks to
 
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remove the notion of recklessness from Clause 1. In a similar vein, Amendment No. 4A seeks to remove the notion of recklessness from government Amendment No. 4. I will try to explain our view as briefly as I can, because I believe that we all understand one another's positions on this point.

I am convinced that it should be an offence to publish a statement that is likely to encourage terrorism, knowing that members of the public to whom it is published could indeed be encouraged to commit acts of terrorism. I do not believe that it should be possible for a terrorist preacher, for example, to argue that they did not actually intend to encourage terrorism when it was perfectly clear that his or her comments would do so. If the person knew that their comments were likely to encourage terrorism but made them anyway, it should be possible to prosecute. Otherwise we will allow a climate to be created in which terrorism is increasingly regarded as acceptable; we do not believe that that would be an acceptable position.

I therefore urge noble Lords who have tabled these amendments to rethink their position and not to move them. It would be difficult to tell citizens of this country, among others, that those who have suffered through terrorism—whose friends or relatives have been killed or injured—believe that it is acceptable to make statements that are likely to encourage terrorism and to know that that will be the effect of the statements. I am pleased to say that the government Benches do not hold that view and would not concur with it. Civil liberties are extremely important to us all, but so is our security and safety. So it is necessary for us to do all that we can to avert those who would foment terrorism in this way.

3.30 pm

I turn to the opposition amendments regarding Clause 2. Although we will debate them separately in due course, Amendment No. 17 is relevant to these issues. I must confess that I am left a little confused, as the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, who has put his name to Amendment No. 17, has also put his name to Amendments Nos. 19A, 20A and 20B, together with the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Williams. I am confused because it seems that those amendments have a very different effect from that of Amendment No. 17. The noble Lord may well have his reasons for contradicting these contradictory amendments. I certainly hope that that will become clearer in due course, not least if he abandons the contradictions, which do not concur with the Government's interpretation. I have indicated why Amendment No. 17 should be withdrawn. Government Amendments Nos. 19 and 20 perform the same job.

I will now concentrate on Amendments Nos. 19A, 20A and 20B, which all seek to remove the word "recklessness" from the Government's amendments that would insert the notions of intent and recklessness into Clause 2. I have already spoken about recklessness a little with regard to Clause 1, so I will try to be brief now. The issue is simple. We do not believe
 
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that people should be allowed to encourage terrorism knowingly. I cannot believe that the noble Lords who have tabled these amendments think that people should be allowed to encourage terrorism knowingly. Ultimately, this will be a matter for each of your Lordships to consider.

I am pleased with, and would like to acknowledge, the support of Her Majesty's loyal Opposition for the concept of subjective recklessness. I hope that this means that they feel able to answer no to this question. I hope that only a small minority of Members of this House believe that there has been so little regard for civil liberties that people should be allowed to encourage terrorism knowingly. As long as the Government and Her Majesty's loyal Opposition, together with as many of those Cross-Benchers and others who agree, are committed to maintaining essential civil liberties and not allowing people to encourage terrorism knowingly, I am sure that we will all retain our faith in the process.

I now turn to Amendments Nos. 19A, 20A and 20B. I am finishing very soon. We would strongly invite the noble Lords, particularly the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, not to pursue these amendments. This would mean supporting the inclusion of intent and recklessness in Clause 2 and in practice supporting government Amendments Nos. 19 and 20. I hope that that will be the position.

In conclusion, I would invite the noble Lords to welcome and support the government amendments. As I have explained, the amendments do what the House wanted us to do, namely to insert intent and recklessness into Clause 2. In this respect they do the same as Amendment No. 17, which we will be debating shortly. They do so in a context of a package of amendments to revise Clause 1 as well as Clause 2. Given that the Government's amendments will achieve much the same effect as Amendment No. 17, I urge your Lordships to support the Government's Amendments Nos. 2, 3, 4, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 36, 40, 44 and 80, but I also call on the noble Lords opposite not to move any amendment that contradicts any of those. I beg to move.


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