Sunday, July 17, 2005

Is This Another Knee Jerk Reaction?

The Government has announced new plans to tighten the anti-terrorism laws.

However, yet again this is done immediately after an atrocity and there is some wooly thinking behind some of the proposal, the proposed new offence of indirect incitement to commit terrorist acts for example. What on earth is included in that? How can you prove indirect incitement? Doesn't the fact that it is indirect mean that the speaker or writer of the words has no idea who has received them, how they will respond to them?

Also let’s take an example that the UK intervention in Iraq has been indirect incitement for a terrorist to act against British interests. Does that then make the Prime Minister culpable of this offence?

Anti-terror laws are essential. The government does need to be seen to be doing something. However, these areas are highly controversial and if reviewed and updated in the heat of the moment may not take into account the affect on underlying civil liberties. I hope the Government give Parliament sufficient time to debate these proposals and not just ram rod them through the two houses as quickly as is expedient. I also hope they listen to concerns over the wording and implications of some of these proposals.

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