My appointment as Director of Public Prosecutions

I have been appointed as the next Director of Public Prosecutions, to take up office later this year. This will mean I have to step down as Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.

It has been a privilege to continue the work of my illustrious predecessors, conducting scrutiny and oversight of our terrorism legislation. From my background and long history in prosecuting terrorism trials, I have been lucky to enjoy the support and assistance of so many who have engaged with me since March 2017. I give special thanks to my Special Advisors Professor Clive Walker QC (Hon), Hashi Mohamed and Alyson Kilpatrick.

As I approach the end of  my work as Independent Reviewer later this year,  I will finalise my Annual Report on the operation of the four statutes. The Report is being provided to the Home Office this month, July, to enable the necessary checks to be carried out over the summer.

Any requests relating to my DPP appointment should be directed to the Crown Prosecution Service Press Office.

Features

This was my final week in office as Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.

I became Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation on 1st March 2017. Just in time to witness the horror that unfolded on Westminster Bridge exactly three weeks later. My first annual report into the operation of the Terrorism Acts in 2016 was delivered to the Home Office in November 2017 and published in January 2018, see here. My second report, here, addressed the police investigation which followed the Westminster Bridge attack; the operation name of the investigation was Classific, and it encompassed the arrest of 12 people, who were detained for between 1 and 6 days, but then released without charge in every case.

The Government Response to the Annual Report on the operation of the Terrorism Acts in 2016 and The Government Response to the report on the use of terrorism legislation following the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack were both published on 13th September 2018. I reacted to both here, and in my Annual Report 2017.

My Annual Report on the operation of the Terrorism Acts in 2017 was presented to Parliament this week, see here. This is my final report as Independent Reviewer and included a review of two of the major terrorism investigations this year, the Manchester Arena and London Bridge attacks.

My Annual Report 2017 also covered other key areas of developments:

  • the passage of the Sanctions and Money Laundering Bill through Parliament, on which I also gave evidence to the Joint Committee of Human Rights in January 2018, here.
  • the re-launch of the Government Counter Terrorism strategy (known as CONTEST), presented by the Home Secretary on 4th June.
  • the new Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill 2018, which is making its way through Parliamentary scrutiny. Additionally, I gave evidence to the JCHR on 20th June 2018, here. I also gave evidence to the Bill Committee on 26th June 2018, here. Subsequently, together with my Senior Special Advisor Professor Clive Walker QC (Hon), written submissions were provided to the Bill Committee, here. Finally, I made additional comments on the amendments tabled by the Government in September 2018 here.

Since taking up post in March 2017, I have travelled across the country, including Northern Ireland, in order to meet with as many people as possible, with the sole purpose of hearing the views of all on the operation and impact of our legislation. The office of IRTL is an open channel for any person or group with relevant information or views. I add only this for the sake of clarity; engagement does not equate to endorsement.

I have tried to react, where possible and appropriate, to key public discussion points in my area:

  • the role of the media in portraying modern terrorism, here.
  • responding to terrorists’ use of social media, here.
  • returning foreign fighters and extreme material online, here.

I maintained a Twitter account, here, throughout my time as Independent Reviewer allowing me to reach an audience of almost 3,000. In March this year, I received messages concerning the trial of Mr Daniel Creagh and I resolved to look into the circumstances of this case. At around the same time, I also resolved to enquire into the circumstances in which Ms Lauren Southern was detained whilst attempting to enter the UK, also in March this year. I completed both reviews, here.

Additionally, I gave a number of public lectures, including to the Criminal Bar Association in September 2017, here, and the Tom Sargant Memorial Lecture for JUSTICE in October 2017, here. I reflected on my first year as Independent Reviewer in the Sir Christopher Staughton Memorial Lecture at the University of Hertfordshire in March 2018, here. My final public speech came at the National Security Summit in October 2018, here.

Any errors or shortcomings in my work as Independent Reviewer are mine and mine alone. However, most of the successes during my time should be credited to Professor Clive Walker, Senior Special Advisor, Alyson Kilpatrick and Hashi Mohamed, Special Advisors, and Fatima Jichi, my Legal Assistant. To them all, and to everyone who has supported me through 20 months of hard but enjoyable work, I say thank you and farewell.

I will take up office as Director of Public Prosecutions on 1 November. Any requests relating to my DPP appointment and work should be directed to the Crown Prosecution Service Press Office.

MAX HILL Q.C.

OCTOBER 2018

My Annual Report on the operation of the Terrorism Acts in 2017 has been presented to Parliament today. It can be accessed here. This is my final annual report as Independent Reviewer and so I have sought to cover all the statutes I review, namely the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006, together with the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIM) Act 2011 and the Terrorist Asset Freezing Act (TAFA) 2010.

My report addresses the following:
Definition of terrorism
Threat picture
Major Terrorism Investigations in 2017
Proscribed organisations and executive orders
The Terrorism Asset Freezing Etc Act 2010
Stop and search
Port and border controls
Arrest and detention
Criminal proceedings

The question of state terrorism and its inclusion/exclusion from the section 1 of Terrorism Act 2000 definition is ‘work in progress’. I invited my Senior Special Adviser Clive Walker to consider the question, and to review the legal and academic research in this area. He has produced a comprehensive ‘Note on the definition of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000, section 1, in the light of the Salisbury incident’, which I have annexed to my Report. The content and any opinions expressed in the Note are Professor Walker’s, rather than mine, but I am grateful to him for his work and hope that it may fuel debate and indeed further consideration by my successor.

The Annual Report also includes an Executive Summary at the outset and Conclusions and Recommendations at the end.

Had I been able to remain in post as Independent Reviewer, I would have wished to focus upon matters including the following, within the next annual report ‘The Terrorism Acts in 2018’:

  1. The practical implications of repealing Part 1 of TAFA 2010 in favour of a new terrorism sanctions regime under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, on which I have given evidence in Parliament when it was a Bill.
  2. A fresh review of the definition of terrorism within section 1 of Terrorism Act 2000, particularly in light of the changing nature of the threat from international terrorism, including the Salisbury Novichok attack.
  3. A continued focus on the appropriate use of Schedule 7, Terrorism Act 2000, including in Northern Ireland.
  4. A review of the use of stop and search pursuant to section 47A of Terrorism 2000, which occurred in September 2017 for the first time since 2011.
  5. An investigation into any wider ramifications of Brexit in relation to the operation of the legislation which I have reviewed.

Of course, these matters will be for my successor, once identified, to consider and to confirm or reject. I am sorry that my departure for public service in another role prevents me from doing more as Independent Reviewer. I regret that there will be a gap in oversight until the next Reviewer is appointed, but I am confident that the Home Office will make that appointment as soon as possible.

National Security Summit talk

My final day in office will be this Friday 12 October. My departure means that I will be unable to offer any public comment after this week, so I was grateful for the opportunity to offer brief thoughts on some of the themes in my report at a talk I gave yesterday at the National Security Summit. A transcript of that talk can be found here.

In my last week as Independent Reviewer, I am trying to conclude any unfinished business. Some aspects of my work take weeks if not months to complete, but it can be difficult to find an opportunity to publish the outcome. With that in mind, those who follow me on Twitter may have noticed messages in March this year concerning the trial of Mr Daniel Creagh. I resolved to look into the circumstances of this case, which I have done with the assistance of his solicitor. At around the same time, I also resolved to enquire into the circumstances in which Ms Lauren Southern was detained whilst attempting to enter the UK, also in March this year. There was a suggestion that Ms Southern’s temporary detention may have been a misuse of police powers under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000. I have completed my work in both cases. In Mr Creagh’s case, my short Note is attached here. In Ms Southern’s case, my Note is here.

Reports

My Annual Report on the operation of the Terrorism Acts in 2017 has been presented to Parliament today. It can be accessed here. This is my final annual report as Independent Reviewer and so I have sought to cover all the statutes I review, namely the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006, together with the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIM) Act 2011 and the Terrorist Asset Freezing Act (TAFA) 2010.

My report addresses the following:
Definition of terrorism
Threat picture
Major Terrorism Investigations in 2017
Proscribed organisations and executive orders
The Terrorism Asset Freezing Etc Act 2010
Stop and search
Port and border controls
Arrest and detention
Criminal proceedings

The question of state terrorism and its inclusion/exclusion from the section 1 of Terrorism Act 2000 definition is ‘work in progress’. I invited my Senior Special Adviser Clive Walker to consider the question, and to review the legal and academic research in this area. He has produced a comprehensive ‘Note on the definition of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000, section 1, in the light of the Salisbury incident’, which I have annexed to my Report. The content and any opinions expressed in the Note are Professor Walker’s, rather than mine, but I am grateful to him for his work and hope that it may fuel debate and indeed further consideration by my successor.

The Annual Report also includes an Executive Summary at the outset and Conclusions and Recommendations at the end.

Had I been able to remain in post as Independent Reviewer, I would have wished to focus upon matters including the following, within the next annual report ‘The Terrorism Acts in 2018’:

  1. The practical implications of repealing Part 1 of TAFA 2010 in favour of a new terrorism sanctions regime under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, on which I have given evidence in Parliament when it was a Bill.
  2. A fresh review of the definition of terrorism within section 1 of Terrorism Act 2000, particularly in light of the changing nature of the threat from international terrorism, including the Salisbury Novichok attack.
  3. A continued focus on the appropriate use of Schedule 7, Terrorism Act 2000, including in Northern Ireland.
  4. A review of the use of stop and search pursuant to section 47A of Terrorism 2000, which occurred in September 2017 for the first time since 2011.
  5. An investigation into any wider ramifications of Brexit in relation to the operation of the legislation which I have reviewed.

Of course, these matters will be for my successor, once identified, to consider and to confirm or reject. I am sorry that my departure for public service in another role prevents me from doing more as Independent Reviewer. I regret that there will be a gap in oversight until the next Reviewer is appointed, but I am confident that the Home Office will make that appointment as soon as possible.

National Security Summit talk

My final day in office will be this Friday 12 October. My departure means that I will be unable to offer any public comment after this week, so I was grateful for the opportunity to offer brief thoughts on some of the themes in my report at a talk I gave yesterday at the National Security Summit. A transcript of that talk can be found here.

Evidence

COUNTER TERRORISM AND BORDER SECURITY BILL:  SUBMISSION IN RELATION TO CLAUSE 3

BY MAX HILL QC AND PROFESSOR CLIVE WALKER

This paper follows evidence given to the Bill Scrutiny Committee on 26th June 2018 by Max Hill QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation. Together with Professor Clive Walker QC (Hon), Senior Special Adviser to the Independent Reviewer,  the premise of this paper is to ask the question, if a new variant of section 58 is needed at all, what might that look like ?[1]

[1] This paper should be read in conjunction with the analysis already given in Professor Walker’s written submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Speeches

UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORSHIRE

SIR CHRISTOPHER STAUGHTON MEMORIAL LECTURE

14TH MARCH 2018.

MAX HILL Q.C.

INDEPENDENT REVIEWER OF TERRORISM LEGISLATION

REFLECTIONS ON MY FIRST YEAR AS INDEPENDENT REVIEWER

On Wednesday 22 March 2017, 52-year old British-born Khalid Masood drove a hired vehicle across Westminster Bridge in the direction of the Palace of Westminster. He mounted the pavement twice colliding with pedestrians and then a third time crashing into the east perimeter gates of the Palace of Westminster. Masood then exited the car and ran into the vehicle entrance gateway of the Palace of Westminster, Carriage Gates, where he attacked and fatally injured PC Keith Palmer using a knife. Masood was shot at the scene by armed police protection officers who were in Parliament at the time of the attack. The whole incident lasted approximately 82 seconds. The attack resulted in 29 people injured and 6 fatalities.

The UK, in fact England, last year suffered the worst combination of terrorist attacks for many years. Since March 22nd 2017, we have all lived through the pain of witnessing murderous attacks at Westminster Bridge, followed by those at Manchester Arena, and London Bridge followed by Borough Market. The attack outside Finsbury Park Mosque on 19th June marked the fourth in this short list of major terrorism events, and there was a serious attempted attack at Parsons Green on 15th September.

I became Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation on 1st March 2017. Just in time to witness the horror that unfolded on Westminster Bridge exactly three weeks later. My task is to annually review our terrorism legislation, essentially the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006, together with the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIM) Act 2011 and the Terrorist Asset Freezing Act (TAFA) 2010. My first annual report into the operation of the Terrorism Acts in 2016 was delivered to the Home Office in November 2017 and published in January 2018. That report does not cover the events of 2017 which will be the focus of the next Annual Report. Meanwhile, my second report addresses the police investigation which followed the Westminster Bridge attack; the operation name of the investigation was Classific, and it encompassed the arrest of 12 people, who were detained for between 1 and 6 days, but then released without charge in every case. Having presented my report to the Home Office a month ago, it is my hope that it will be published in Parliament by the Home Secretary in time for the first anniversary of the Westminster Bridge attack, on 22nd March next week. For the time being, courtesy to Parliament requires that I maintain silence as to the detail of the report, but I can tell you that I have attempted to provide an insight into the hour by hour progress of the investigation, covering every arrest and what then happened to each of the 12 persons who were detained and ultimately released. I can also tell you that in my view this was an efficient and timely investigation, involving the appropriate use of statutory powers by the police. Just because nobody was charged, that does not mean that the police acted improperly. On the contrary, a thorough and speedy investigation was needed, arriving at the conclusion that the terrorist Masood acted alone on that day.

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