MPs to debate Prevention of Terrorism Act
MPs will debate the draft Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (Continuance in Force of Sections 1 to 9) Order 2010, which will come into force on 11 March 2010. The BBC will be showing the debate live on its website.
The order extends for an extra year the relevant sections in the Act allowing the Home Secretary to issue control orders against individuals suspected of being involved in terrorism-related activity.
Control orders were introduced in 2005 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, after Law Lords ruled that the previous system of detaining suspects without trial breached human rights.
Control orders impose strict conditions on suspects such as home curfews or bans on who the individuals can meet.
Lib Dem peer Lord Carlile carried out an independent review of terror legislation in September 2009. His report concluded that there were "no better means" of restricting some terror suspects' actions than control orders, but added that the more minor suspects should be given foreign travel bans instead.
The government has spent over £8m on legal fees trying to maintain the control order regime. Home Office figures revealed on 25 February that 201 people were arrested on suspicion of terrorism in 2009, and a total of 66 charged.