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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Crime and Policing (David Hanson) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Section 14(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (the 2005 Act) requires the Secretary of State to report to Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of every relevant three-month period on the exercise of the control order powers during that period.
Control orders continue to be an essential tool to protect the public from terrorism, particularly where it is not possible to prosecute individuals for terrorism-related activity and, in the case of foreign nationals, where they cannot be removed from the UK.
As stated in previous quarterly statements on control orders, control order obligations are tailored to the individual concerned and are based on the terrorism-related risk that individual poses. Each control order
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During the period 11 September 2009 to 10 December 2009, three non-derogating control orders have been made and served. No control orders have been renewed in accordance with Section 2(6) of the 2005 Act in this reporting period. In this reporting period there have been six revocations of control orders that were in force. Three control orders were revoked because it was not possible to meet the disclosure test set out in the June 2009 House of Lords judgment (AF & Others) on Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) (right to a fair trial). One of these orders was not replaced. In the other two cases new non-derogating control orders with significantly reduced obligations were imposed in their place; the Government argued before the court that in such cases Article 6 was not engaged-or, even if it was, the level of disclosure required in AF & Others did not apply. Two control orders were revoked because they were no longer considered necessary. One control order was revoked on the order of the court. In addition to the six revocations of current control orders, one non-derogating control order previously made but not served was also revoked in this quarter.
In total, 12 control orders are currently in force, nine of which are in respect of British citizens. Seven individuals subject to a control order live in the Metropolitan Police Service area; the remaining individuals live in other police force areas. All of these control orders are non-derogating. There were no prosecutions for breaching a control order during this reporting period. However, one individual was charged with seven counts for breach of a control order obligation.
Section 10(1) of the 2005 Act provides a right of appeal against a decision by the Secretary of State to renew a non-derogating control order or to modify an obligation imposed by a non-derogating control order without consent. One appeal under Section 10(1) of the 2005 Act has been lodged with the High Court during this reporting period. A right of appeal is also provided for by Section 10(3) of the 2005 Act against decisions by the Secretary of State to refuse a request by a controlled person to revoke their order and/or to modify any obligation under the order. During this reporting period four appeals have been lodged with the High Court under Section 10(3) of the 2005 Act.
Six interlocutory judgments were handed down by the High Court during this reporting period in relation to disclosure required to make control order judicial review proceedings under Section 3(10) of the 2005 Act compliant with Article 6 following the June 2009 House of Lords judgment in AF & Others.
Two of these judgments were handed down in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v BB & BC. In the first judgment, handed down on 5 October 2009 in closed only, the court required the Secretary of State to make a further disclosure in order to ensure compliance with Article 6 despite the court's acknowledgement that the disclosure of this material would cause damage to the public interest. The Secretary of State elected not to make the disclosure identified. Both control orders were revoked and new control orders with significantly reduced obligations were imposed. In the second judgment, handed down on 11 November 2009, the court found that, notwithstanding the new control orders impose less stringent obligations, Article 6 applied and that the House of Lords in AF & Others had identified an "irreducible minimum" of disclosure which must be made in all control order cases regardless of the stringency of the obligations. The court granted the Secretary of State permission to appeal and an appeal has been lodged.
A further two judgments were handed down in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v. AS. At the hearing on 6 to 8 October 2009, the court handed down a judgment in closed only requiring the Secretary of State to make further damaging disclosure to comply with Article 6 or to withdraw reliance on the relevant allegations. The Secretary of State elected to make some further disclosure to maintain the control order in force. In an open judgment handed down on 21 October 2009 the court set out the principles of how the court should apply the decision in AF & Others.
An interlocutory judgment was handed down in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v. AN on 27 November 2009. The court handed down a judgment in closed only requiring the Secretary of State to make further damaging disclosure to comply with Article 6 or to withdraw reliance on the relevant allegations. The Secretary of State elected to make some further disclosure to maintain the control order in force.
Two judgments have been handed down by the High Court in relation to modification appeals during this reporting period. The court handed down judgment in Secretary of State for the Home Department v BH on 17 November 2009. The court found that the Secretary of State's decision to refuse to modify BH's geographical boundary to let him attend legal appointment outside his boundary was lawful. This was against the background that the Secretary of State had offered to modify the control order to allow the visit subject to BH agreeing to submit to a personal search as part of a police escort to and from the appointment. BH had refused to agree to this condition and the Secretary of State had therefore refused the modification. The court decided this refusal was lawful, noting that BH's legal representatives were able to visit him within his boundary instead. However, he commented that in circumstances where it would not be proportionate to refuse to modify the boundary for a purpose such as attending
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The court handed down a judgment in Secretary of State for the Home Department v AS on 23 November 2009. The court dismissed AS's appeal against the decision of the Secretary of State to refuse to modify his control order to enable him to stay overnight in London during the judicial review hearing of his control order.
During this reporting period, the Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal in one case. In Secretary of State for the Home Department v AU, the Court of Appeal found AU did not have any real prospect of success in his arguments that the judicial review of his control order had not been Article 6 compliant and that when the Secretary of State decided to impose a control order in this case, he was not entitled to consider allegations which formed part of the previous criminal prosecution and sentence.
Full judgments are available at http://www.bailii.org/.
The Minister for Trade and Investment (Lord Davies of Abersoch): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Ben Bradshaw) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
We report strong progress against our Public Service Agreement to deliver a successful and inspirational Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 that provides for a sustainable legacy and gets more children and young people taking part in high quality PE and sport. That is also one of our departmental strategic objectives.
We are maintaining decent progress against our other departmental strategic objectives-the digital switchover programme is on track and more data is becoming available to assess enjoyment of and excellence in culture, media and sport. I expect to be in a position to report more fully on them next year.
We continue to maintain a strong track record of delivering value for money savings. We have significantly exceeded our Lyons relocation target and maintain good progress towards our Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 value for money target.
The report provides details of progress on DfID's departmental strategic objectives and value for money as well as progress on Public Service Agreement 29: reduce poverty in poorer countries through quicker progress towards the millennium development goals.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Yvette Cooper) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
This publication has been specifically designed to be accessed online, on the grounds of sustainability and potential financial savings, and will be available on the department's website. For the convenience of Members, some printed copies will be placed in the Library and supplied to the Vote Office and Printed Paper Office.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office (Alan Campbell) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The first item on the agenda was an update from the Swedish presidency on the energy efficiency package (made up of separate directives on the energy performance
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The Commission reported on progress on the proposal for a Regulation on the Security of Gas Supply. This was followed by a policy debate in which member states commented on the current draft of the proposal, in particular responding to questions about the roles and responsibilities of different actors in preparing for and during an emergency, of the need for mandatory infrastructure and supply standards, and the definition of protected customers. The UK raised concerns over some of the powers envisaged for the Commission.
There was also an exchange of views on the recent Commission Communication on investing in the development of low-carbon technologies under the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan. The UK indicated that it shared its support for the SET Plan but raised concerns over the sources of funding for the programme in the current financial climate.
In addition, the Commission updated Ministers on progress in a number of other areas, including implementation of the European Economic Recovery Package, the Baltic Energy Market Integration Programme and the regulation on the notification of investment projects in energy infrastructure within the European Community. Some delegations used the opportunity to raise concerns about Biomass Sustainability Criteria. Finally, the Spanish Minister outlined the energy priorities for Spain's forthcoming presidency. These included a new Energy Action Plan for 2010-14, a focus on renewables, energy efficiency, low-carbon technologies, relations with external energy suppliers and further progress on current legislation.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): My honourable friend the Minister for Europe (Chris Bryant) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The full text of conclusions adopted, including "A" points, can be found at http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/genaff/111832.pdf.
On economic issues, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary emphasised that governance of the financial markets was a global issue, not just an internal matter for Europe. He stated that the EU should take account of the International Monetary Fund work on renewing the social contract between the financial institutions and wider society, including by ensuring that the financial sector bear the full costs associated with its activities. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary congratulated the presidency on its help in resolving the financial supervision and regulation package.
On climate change, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary underscored the importance of tackling this issue against the backdrop of the Copenhagen conference of parties. He called for the European Council conclusions to reinforce the EU's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, and to be clearer and more specific on climate financing.
On external relations, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary, with support from a number of member states, argued for a European Council declaration on Afghanistan, reflecting President Obama's 1 December announcement on troop reinforcements, and the London conference in January 2010. The presidency agreed to draft a declaration, which was discussed at the FAC on 8 December. We also requested conclusions language on development assistance.
Ministers adopted conclusions, which the Government broadly support, welcoming the Commission communication dated 14 October 2009 entitled "Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2009-10". Broadly, the conclusions took stock of progress in accession negotiations with Turkey and Croatia, while urging both countries to implement outstanding reforms.
On Turkey, the council welcomed recent initiatives including on the Kurdish issue and recognised that Turkey is an important regional player, playing a key role in energy supply. However, it expressed disappointment that Turkey has not yet fulfilled its obligation to open its ports to trade with Cyprus under the additional protocol to the association agreement and agreed that further efforts are needed to accelerate the pace of Turkey's accession negotiations. On Croatia, the council commended progress made but stressed further efforts are needed to meet accession criteria in order to be able to conclude negotiations in 2010.
On Croatia's co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) the council welcomed the creation of a new investigative task force, noted that substantial progress had not been reported, and called on Croatia to take the necessary steps to complete a comprehensive and credible investigation into missing documents without further delay. On Iceland, the council noted its application for EU membership in July and agreed to come back to the issue when the Commission presents its assessment on whether Iceland is ready to open accession negotiations.
The council reaffirmed EU support for the European perspective of the western Balkans; noted that the Office of the ICTY Prosecutor was content with Serbia's
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Ministers approved a presidency report on reinforcing the EU's capacity for preventing and responding to disasters, which the Government support while recognising the primary role of national responsibility in disaster management.
Spain, Belgium and Hungary briefly presented their programme, and looked forward to chairing the GAC under their presidencies, and to close co-operation with the President of the European Council and the High Representative. The Government welcome the trio's emphasis on finalising the international climate change negotiations, putting in place a Lisbon strategy fit to take the EU beyond the aftermath of the economic crisis and bringing Europe closer to its citizens.
The full text of all conclusions adopted can be found at http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_ data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/111833.pdf.
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