Control Orders — Annual renewal 2006 — Regrets the inadiquate safeguards — rejected — 15 Feb 2006 at 21:07
Those who were Not-Content implied that they agreed that sections 1 to 9 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 should continue to be in force for a further year, beginning 11 March 2006.
These sections of the Act outline how the Secretary of State can make "control orders" (widely viewed as a form of house arrest) against anyone "for purposes [of] protecting members of the public from a risk of terrorism." This legislation was rushed through the House during a mammoth 30 hour session on 10 March 2005 to cover the fact that a previous terrorism act, which allowed the Secretary of State to detain foreign terrorist suspects without trial indefinitely, was unconstitutional.
For this debate in the House of Lords, the Government was following Section 13 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 with the Secretary of State laying down an order to be approved by a resolution of the House:
Lord Bassam of Brighton rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 2 February be approved.
The actual vote here was rejecting an amendment to this motion:
Lord Thomas of Gresford rose to move, as an amendment to the above Motion, at end to insert, "but this House regrets that the safeguards against misuse of the powers conferred by the Act are inadequate given the need for compliance with the obligations of the Human Rights Act 1998".
The House of Commons, meanwhile, approved the order that the power of the Act should continue in a debate without a vote.
This particular process is known as a "weak sunset clause", and was inserted into the Bill on 9 March 2005 against the wishes of the Lords who prefered a "strong sunset clause", one which would require that primary legislation be enacted to extend its powers, not just a Statutory Order as we see here. It was hotly debated at the time that the Bill was being passed, but appears to have lost the interest of those who supported the idea of a strong sunset clause in the meantime.
Lords for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party are marked in red. Also shows which lords were ministers at the time of this vote. You can also see every eligible lord including those who did not vote in this division.