Counter-Extremism Bill

A Counter-Extremism Bill was announced in the Queen's Speech in May 2015. The notes name it as the Extremism Bill.

David Cameron:

For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.[1]

It is expected to include control orders for individuals or organisations to "submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web and social media or in print."


The Bill was renamed to the Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill in the Queen's Speech of May 2016.

Briefing

The purpose of the Bill is to:
• Unite our country and keep you and your family safe by tackling all forms of extremism.
• Combat groups and individuals who reject our values and promote messages of hate.
The main benefits of the Bill would be:
• To strengthen government and law enforcement powers to stop extremists promoting views and behaviour that undermine British values.
• To protect the public from the serious harm extremists intend to cause to individuals, communities and the values we live by.
• To address the gap in government and law enforcement’s powers to deal with extremism that falls below the thresholds in counter-terrorism legislation.
The main elements of the Bill are:
As part of a comprehensive new strategy to defeat all forms of extremism, we will legislate to strengthen our powers in a number of areas:
• Banning Orders: a new power for the Home Secretary to ban extremist groups.
• Extremism Disruption Orders: a new power for law enforcement to stop individuals engaging in extremist behaviour.
• Closure Orders: a new power for law enforcement and local authorities to close down premises used to support extremism.
We will also be taking forward other commitments to combat extremism:
• Broadcasting: strengthening Ofcom’s roles so that tough measures can be taken against channels that broadcast extremist content.
• Employment checks: enabling employers to check whether an individual is an extremist and bar them from working with children.

Joint Committee on Human Rights' inquiry

Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights carried out an inquiry into the proposed Counter-Extremism Bill. The inquiry started in November 2015 and reported in July 2016.

The committee's report said that "Over the past year progress on a forthcoming Counter Extremism Bill appears to have stalled or even gone backwards."

Karen Bradley, a Home Office Minister gave evidence to the Committee on 29 June 2016 and did not give details on the contents of the Bill.

See also

References

  1. David Cameron to unveil new limits on extremists' activities in Queen's speech, Guardian, 2015-05-13