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UK Home Office proposes controversial anti-terror bill

[JURIST] [JURIST UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] Thursday released draft anti-terrorism legislation [PDF text] that includes terms allowing police to detain terror suspects for up to three months without charge and creating a new criminal offense for "glorifying terrorism." The draft legislation was included in a letter [PDF] to opposition colleagues in which Clarke stressed that the proposed provisions were "very much draft clauses" and solicited their input. Opposition spokesmen publicly pounced on the new terms, however, suggesting a breakdown in a previous consensus among the major parties [JURIST report] to move forward with the legislation after the summer London bombings [JURIST news archive]. Liberal Democrat and Conservative criticisms of extended detention echo concerns articulated last year by Britain's highest court when it ruling against the indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects [JURIST report] without charging them. Liberal Democrats also say they oppose the criminalization of "glorifying terrorism" because of uncertainty about how courts will interpret such a vague offense. The Terrorism Bill is expected to be introduced in the House of Commons in mid-October. Thursday's Guardian has more.

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