Hayley J. Hooper assesses the notion of ‘temporary exclusion orders’ proposed in new anti-terrorism legislation. She highlights the orders can be made without judicial oversight and argues that passing the Bill risks giving parliamentary legitimacy to a policy adverse to human rights.
The Counter Terrorism and Security Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 7 January 2015 using a semi-fast-track procedure. The Bill provides for new powers to seize travel documents from individuals suspected of terrorism, for increased powers to retain internet data under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), and more intrusive measures under the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011.
This comment focuses on one aspect of the Bill: the ‘temporary exclusion orders’ (TEOs) proposed in Chapter Two. These TEOs would allow the Home Secretary to make an executive order to invalidate an individual’s passport whilst s/he is abroad if there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ that s/he has been involved in terrorism or terrorism related activity outside of the United Kingdom. Such orders may remain in force for up to two years. This means that affected individuals can only return to the UK if they become the subject of a ‘managed return’ during which they may be subject to conditions consistent with obligations in the existing Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act.
Andy Thornton argues that the current emphasis ‘British Values’ can only have meaning if it is supported by better citizenship education in schools.
The term ‘British Values’ has emerged as a catch-phrase to denote Britain’s take on liberal democracy. Beyond face-value, its political appeal is clear. It reaches into the UKIP electoral battleground, hinting that today’s Conservatives remain happy to bundle our history and customs into a formula that conjures up ‘the golden age’.
But its arrival in a fracas over school management has to be something of a surprise. It wouldn’t have been too long ago that British schools and British-ness would have been synonymous. Within living memory schools have been under Local Authority control, so how could they not be exponents of British Values?
You may not know it, but a similar discussion arose in 2007 when Gordon Brown asked for a review of the content of the National Curriculum for Citizenship.
Gordon Brown’s concerns were formulated around ‘British Identity’, not values. But similarly he wanted to ensure that the understanding behind the formation of the UK’s democratic structures was being utilised to create a tolerant and inclusive democracy: enabling established residents and newcomers to work together in peaceful coexistence towards the common good. This was of sound purpose as growing diversity in many regions was provoking conflict, and he could see that state schools (93% of all schools) are a critical cauldron in which values are established and competences for democratic life are developed and tested.
The result was that the citizenship curriculum was expanded to contain a section which essentially instructed all schools to tackle issues of identity, diversity and inclusion within the curriculum.