Since we recently saw a rare HMT notice relating to this act, let's recap what's in the legislation:
- Part 1 specifies that terrorist property can be forfeited in civil procedings before a magistrate's court or, in Scotland, before the sheriff. This replaces parts of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- Part 2 is about freezing orders, which can be issued by HMT if a foreign government, or a resident of a foreign country does one of the following:
(a) action to the detriment of the United Kingdom’s economy (or part of it) has been or is likely to be taken by a person or persons, or
(b) action constituting a threat to the life or property of one or more nationals of the United Kingdom or residents of the United Kingdom has been or is likely to be taken by a person or persons.
- Freezing Orders can apply to persons taking part in the above actions, or providing assistance. The persons can be named explicitly or fall under a description of covered persons in the Order. Unlike Part 1, which deals only in cash, Part 2 refers to any assets.
- Freezing Orders are in force for up to 2 years. However, they have to be approved by both Houses of Parliament writhin 28 days or they expire. And, if the Order is for the “threat to life and property” reason, they must consult the Secretary of State.
- Part 3 defines the rules governing disclosure of information about criminal investigations and other proceedings.
- Part 4, entitled Immigration and Asylum, has largely been repealed. The remaining sections are generally amendments or interpretation of other regulations.
- Part 5, entitled Race and Religion, consists of adjustments to regulations and laws regarding hate crimes. Most notable, this law increased the penalties from 2 to 7 years
- Part 6 deals with weapons of mass destruction. It defines offenses for transfers of biological, chemical and nuclear weaponry and the legal machinery (including that Customs and Excise may prosecute such offenses) surrounding these cases, including what constitutes a valid defense.
- Part 7 is entitled Security of Pathogens and Toxins. It surrounds the legal requirements for safe handling, and related information sharing, of biological and chemical agents. It's pretty cool in and of itself- Mr. Watchlist may post it in its entirety since it's so interesting.
- Part 8 is the equivalent of Part 7 for nuclear materials, while Part 9 cover the aviation security
- Part 10 covers police powers – to examine and fingerprint suspects, to remove disguises, to photograph suspects, to stop and search when there is suspicion that persons are about to commit violent acts. It also covers the handling of seized articles, and the jurisdiction of police forces from the Ministry of Defense and the transit police. Interesting to note that some of these sections have separate sections for Northern Ireland in addition to ones that cover England and Wales.
- Part 11 covers the power of the government to have communications providers retain data for its uses.
- Part 12 covers foreign bribery offenses. Notably, it focuses on bribery of officials and not on commercial bribes.
- Part 13 covers miscellaneous elements, including hoaxes and the use of dangerous substances to harm or intimidate
- Part 14 covers administrative issues
Pretty interesting, all told. Mr. Watchlist will likely post certain sections (7, 8, 9 and 11) out of general interest.