Friday, March 16, 2007

Anti-Terror Law Review

Lord Carlile of Berriew, QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, has made some suggestions, according to The Times. Foremost among them is that judges should be given the power to add another 5 years to sentences of non-terrorism offences if the crime assisted terrorism. For example, credit card fraud whose purpose was to raise money for terrorism.

He also suggested that the legal definition of terrorism be extended to include attacks which aim to advance "racial, ethnic or other similar causes", and that terrorism should be considered attacks that aim to "intimidate" rather than "influence" the public.

Finally, he rejected calls to allow the defence that the crime was justified by an oppressive regime as long as non-combatants were not targeted. Lord Carlile said that no such change could be implemented while remaining within the bounds of existing international law. Furthermore, he added, any such change would require a difficult decision on what was considered a "bad" regime.