Terrorism and the Law: Playing Hardball with Terrorists

There is already plenty of law bearing down on the activities of terrorists and their supporters.

The World Today Updated 15 October 2020 Published 1 October 2005 4 minute READ

David Bentley

As well as offences under general criminal law, murder for instance, there are special offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 and other legislation introduced after September 11 2001. Enhanced police powers supplement those available for the investigation of serious crime. Through ‘control orders’ substantial restrictions can be imposed on the liberty of people suspected of involvement in terrorism; and the Home Secretary may order the deportation or exclusion of undesirable non-nationals. Extradition law was toughened in 2003.

Yet it seemed impossible to prosecute or remove even ‘thoroughly dangerous’ people, as one candidate for deportation was described by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, and thoroughly unattractive individuals seemed free to air still less attractive opinions. How had this come about, and what could be done about it?

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