A message from the reviewer

David Anderson Q.C
David Anderson Q.C

Welcome! I am an independent Q.C. and not part of the government machine. I am tasked with reviewing the operation of the United Kingdom’s anti-terrorism laws. Where I am critical, I recommend change. My reports and recommendations are submitted to ministers and laid before Parliament.

As reviewer I have a very high degree of access both to classified documents and to those most closely involved with defence against terrorism: Read more…


In a decision of great potential importance, the Divisional Court (a Lord Justice and High Court Judge sitting together) today declared section 1 of DRIPA, an Act of Parliament passed in¬†2014, to¬†contravene the EU¬†Charter of Fundamental Rights¬†as it was interpreted in the Digital Rights Ireland judgment of April 2014.¬† Digital Rights Ireland was a¬†judgment not of the European Court of Human Rights (the court of the Council of Europe) but of the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the EU. Read more…

My fourth annual report on the operation of the Terrorist Asset-Freezing Act 2010 (the subject of a post here in March 2015) made the following recommendation:

“The Chair of AFRG meetings at which new potential designations are discussed should consider adopting a ‚Äúdevil‚Äôs advocate‚ÄĚ approach, whereby one member of the AFRG is asked to put the case against designation, thus assisting the group in identifying any possible weaknesses in the case put forward. ¬†Sufficient material should be provided (including, where appropriate, primary intelligence underlying agency assessments) for this exercise to be performed in a meaningful way.” Read more…


My annual report on the operation of the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 was laid before Parliament by the Home Secretary on the morning of Thursday 17 September.  You can download it here:

Terrorism Acts Report 2015 Print version

Terrorism Acts Report 2015_web version

The report is also available on the gov.uk site.

I was interviewed about countering extremism (together with surveillance and the Northern Ireland related terrorism) on World at One (BBC Radio 4) on publication day.

Press coverage included these articles in The Guardian and HuffPost. Read more…



This article on the work of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation has just been published in the New Journal of European Criminal Law.  It is reproduced here by the kind permission of the publishers.

The history of the role is summarised, before describing the nature of the work and the way in which successive Independent Reviewers have influenced Government, either directly or through Parliament and the courts.

It is a shortened and updated version, prepared for an international audience, of an article published in Public Law in July 2014.