UK’s terror watchdog warns against need for new anti-hate laws


Britain’s independent reviewer of anti-terror legislation has rejected the need for new laws to counter extremists.

Max Hill QC, in a lecture last night, warned against any move to “criminalise” thought and said the law should be used against those planning violence.

“You will recall the proposals for banning orders, extremism disruption orders and closure orders.

“If any or all of them make a re-appearance, that will be evidence, for me, of the creation of criminal sanctions, formal consequences which fall on the wrong side of the divide which I have tried to articulate,” he said.

The subsequent announcement of a new Commission for countering extremism indicated that policy-makers “have thought better of this, but we wait and see.”

While the UK had suffered its worst spate of terror attacks in many years, Mr Hill warned against acting in haste.

He stated, “We do not criminalise, we do not enact statutory offences designed to isolate non-violent extremism, only violent extremism in its various preparatory stages and when it develops into action.”

He also called for safeguards over planned changes for up to 15-year jail sentences for those who repeatedly view terrorist online.

“We must surely be vigilant to ensure that those who view material in disgust, shock and disapproval do not find themselves on the wrong side of the law,” he said.

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