I have submitted evidence three times to¬†the Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry into countering extremism.
My written evidence of 13 October 2015 did little more than refer the Committee to chapter 9 of my September 2015 report on the operation of the Terrorism Acts.¬† That chapter considered, among other things, the relationship between terrorism and extremism (9.2-9.6) and the¬†extent of¬†the “extremism” problem (9.15-9.23), before recording some¬†potential difficulties and concerns (9.24-9.31)¬†with the proposed Extremism Bill¬†whose outlines were announced with the Queen’s Speech¬†on 27¬†May 2015 but which has still not seen the light of day.
My oral evidence of 19 January 2016¬†was¬†transcribed (from Q926) and is available also on video (from 15:16).¬† The questioning¬†extended to radicalisation, language teaching, police bail and¬†the wearing of the full-face veil as well as to the responsibilities of universities and social media companies, the need for all-inclusive dialogue and the limitations of the law.
My supplementary written evidence was published on 2 February 2016.¬† It makes the case for independent review of the Prevent strategy, and in particular of the operation of the Prevent duty in schools.¬† But it does not (as some media reports have suggested) endorse a narrative of state-sponsored islamophobia.
Letter to Home Secretary
I sent this letter to the Home Secretary last week, in fulfilment of my obligation under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to notify her of¬†the¬†statutory reports I¬†aim to produce during the¬†calendar year.¬† Her agreement to¬†the plan is not required.
The letter¬†gives an outline of the four reports I¬†expect to produce during the year, while reserving the right to adapt the¬†plan¬†as circumstances may require.
With a bit of luck,¬†I should soon¬†have more news about the assistance that it has been decided, in principle, that¬†the Independent Reviewer should receive.
The background to this saga is in my September 2015 Terrorism Acts report at 10.6-10.11 (scope of Independent Reviewer’s responsibilities) and 10.12-10.17 (assistance).
Further information about the role of the Independent Reviewer is here.
No fewer than four¬†parliamentary committees have started the work of scrutinising the draft¬†Investigatory Powers Bill, which is based¬†in part on my Report, A Question of Trust.
A Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (with 14 members drawn from both Houses of Parliament) had its first two oral evidence sessions this week, hearing from: Read more…