HL Deb 12 December 1977 vol 387 cc1965-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What decision they have reached about how a review of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts might be conducted.

The MINISTER of STATE, HOME OFFICE (Lord Harris of Greenwich)

When the House discussed the renewal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act last March, I said that my right honourable friend the Home Secretary wanted to consider ways in which we might look at the operation of the Act. He was in no doubt that while IRA violence continued, legislation would be necessary to deal with terrorism, but felt that the time was right to see how the Act was working in practice. After considering how this could best be done, he has decided on a review with the following terms of reference:

"Accepting the continuing need for legislation against terrorism, to assess the operation of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974 and 1976, with particular regard to the effectiveness of this legislation and its effect on the liberties of the subject, and to report."

The review extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

The Home Secretary has invited the Lord Shackleton to carry out this review, and I am glad to say that he has accepted.

Anyone having material which he wishes to draw to Lord Shackleton's attention should send it to him in writing, if possible by 15th January, at the following address:

The Rt. Hon. Lord Shackleton,

K.G., OBE,

Home Office,

50 Queen Anne's Gate,

London SW1H 9AT.

The conduct of the review will be entirely a matter for Lord Shackleton, but he has been asked to produce a report, which will be published.

In addition to his business responsibilities, Lord Shackleton carries out certain public duties. However, in order to undertake this review, he has resigned from the British Overseas Trade Board and arrangements have been made for him to be temporarily relieved of his duties in connection with his chairmanship of the East European Trade Council