Government terror sentence changes may be 'unlawful', says ex-legislation reviewer

4 February 2020, 13:04

A former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation has said the Government's changes to prison sentences for terrorists is "risky" and might be "unlawful".

Lord Carlile spoke about the Government's decision to change terror sentencing.

The Government is planning to make a change that would ensure prisoners would no longer be automatically freed at the halfway point of their sentences.

Lord Carlile told James O'Brien: "It may well be unlawful. It's absolutely clear, Liberty already said yesterday, that there will be challenges if this power is introduced."

Government terror sentence changes may be 'unlawful', says ex-legislation reviewer
Government terror sentence changes may be 'unlawful', says ex-legislation reviewer. Picture: PA

He continued: "I've been seeking to make is there are other ways of dealing with this problem that do not require the Government to indulge in risky legislation which would lead to risky, expensive and lengthy litigation."

Instead, he suggested restoring control orders or reintroducing TPims.

If, for example, someone was to breach a control order, they would go back to prison.

Talking about the Government decision, Lord Carlile said: "I think the Government may have made an inadvertent mistake about this."

There is a "clear risk" that the Government could lose a legal challenge, he added.

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