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UK anti-terror proposal suffers setback in House of Lords

[JURIST] The UK Terrorism Bill proposal [text], introduced following last year's July 7 London bombings, suffered two defeats Tuesday in the House of Lords [official website] as peers voted against introducing a "glorification" of terrorism offense and called for more safeguards for provisions that would outlaw the spreading of terrorist publications. Prime Minister Tony Blair has already faced one major setback on the anti-terror proposal when members of parliament in the House of Commons voted last November to reduce the proposed detention period [JURIST report] for suspected terrorists from 90 to 28 days. The bill proposed outlawing the "glorification of terrorism" as part of the more general "indirect encouragement of terrorism" offense. "Glorification" would apply to those acting recklessly or intentionally and require those hearing glorification to believe they were being encouraged to carry out terrorist acts. Peers voted 270-144 to scrap the proposal, with critics calling it unworkable and "not sufficiently legally certain." Plans to outlaw the spreading of terrorism publication were also defeated, with opponents of the plans fearing that academics, librarians, and shopkeepers would be left open to prosecution. Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] criticized the proposed bill [JURIST report], including provisions that would outlaw the glorification of terrorism and the dissemination of terrorism-related publications, pointing to human rights concerns, though the government dismissed Arbour's concerns as "unjustified". BBC News has more.

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