Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lords strike out glorifcation of terrorism clause

The House of Lords have inflicted another defeat on the government, this time on the latest terrorism bill.

"PLANS to curtail the actions of Islamic extremists by banning the glorification of terrorism suffered a setback last night after peers voted down the proposed new offence.

A series of peers denounced the offence as pointless and said that its removal from the Terrorism Bill would still allow suspects to be charged with indirect encouragement to commit acts of terror. A move to strike glorification of terrorism from the Bill was carried by 270 votes to 144, a majority of 126, at its report stage despite government protests that the power was needed.

Ministers confirmed last night that MPs will be asked to reinstate the offence when the Bill returns to the Commons...

The proposal to outlaw glorification of terrorism was introduced after Mr Blair announced a series of measures to curb so-called “preachers of hate” and extremist websites, videos and publications in response to the London bombings last summer."

Good news that the Lords have struck that provision of the bill and it's a shame the Commons is going to re-introduce it. As for the excuse for introducing it in the first place, hard cases and vague legal drafting make bad law. We really have no idea what will constitute "glorifying terrorism" in practice.

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