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Why sunset clauses are useless

Posted by James Hammerton @ 7:59 pm on 15 February, 2006.
Categories democracy and the rule of law.
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The Prevention of Terrorism Act 1973 was continually renewed until it was replaced by the Terrorism Act 2000.

Now, the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 has been renewed “on the nod” in a poorly attended 90 minute debate.

Do you remember the Parliamentary “ping pong” which the passage of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 entailed about this time last year? Debates into the late hours, much gnashing of teeth and cries of “Habeas Corpus” and “European Convention on Human Rights” etc. and “hundreds” of people who pose an “Immediate Terrorist Threat”?

There was a promise to review the legislation in the early part of 2006, the so called “sunset clause” concession by the Government. Well, the “sunset clause” is no more, it has been passed without a vote

The motion to accept the continuation of this dreadful legislation has been passed, “on the nod” , without a vote, by the House of Commons, after a mere 90 minites of debate, attended, at one point by only 13 Members of Parliament.(Some typos have been corrected in this quotation)

It is worth reading the whole thing.

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