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UK Home Secretary presses case for 42-day terror detention without charge

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith [official profile] Monday urged [News of the World interview] the passage of a new anti-terror bill [BBC Q/A] that would increase the number of days a terror suspect can be detained without charge to 42 days, up from the current limit of 28. The Counter-Terrorism Bill 2008 [draft text, PDF; bill materials] also includes provisions creating a registry of convicted terrorists and making terrorism an "aggravating factor" in sentencing for non-terrorism offenses.

Smith first proposed a 42-day detention period [JURIST report] in December 2007. The proposal followed statements made in June 2007 by former UK Home Secretary John Reid calling for longer pre-charge time limits, and a proposal [JURIST reports] floated last July that would have allowed the extension of the 28-day limit after a declared state of emergency and would have allowed judges to authorize weekly extensions for up to 56 days subject to parliamentary notification. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

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