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Report of a Committee to consider, in the context of civil liberties and human rights, measures to deal with terrorism in Northern Ireland

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Report of a Committee to consider,
in the context of civil liberties and human rights,
measures to deal with terrorism in Northern Ireland

Chairman: Lord Gardiner

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by Command of Her Majesty
January 1975

Published in London by,

Cmnd. 5847
ISBN 0 10 1584709

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Political Assumptions
Terrorism and Subversion
Civil Liberties and Human Rights
Abolition of Capital Punishment for Murder
Trial Procedures
Section 2
Section 3
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Further Procedural Matters
Scheduled Offences
Proposed Changes
Procedural Points Related to Scheduled Offences
Criminal Investigation
Offence of Terrorism
Offence of Disguise
The News Media
Existing Powers
Power to Stop and Question
Powers of Arrest
Powers of Search and Seizure
Use of Existing Powers
Proposed Changes
Section 10
Section 13
Section 16
Section 28
Periods of Detention Following Arrest
Possible Additional Powers
Existing Prison Accommodation
Special Category Prisoners
The Housing of Detainees
The Housing of Young Prisoners
New Prison Accommodation
Present Procedures
The Future of Detention
Arguments For Detention
Arguments Against Detention
The Committee's Conclusions
Criticisms of Present Detention Procedures
Proposed Detention Procedures
Detention Advisory Board
Criteria for Detention
Release Procedures
Release Advisory Committee
Transitional Provisions
Part 1: Detention Advisory Board
Part 2: Provisional and Confirmed Custody Orders
Part 3: Release Advisory Committee
Part 4: Supplemental
A Pre-Release Centre
Long-Term Resettlement
A Note on Social Security


To the Right Honourable Merlyn Rees MP, Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

We were appointed:

    "to consider what provisions and powers, consistent to the maximum extent practicable in the circumstances with the preservation of civil liberties and human rights, are required to deal with terrorism and subversion in Northern Ireland, including provisions for the administration of justice, and to examine the working of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973; and to make recommendations."
We considered it important to give as many organisations and individuals as possible the opportunity of making their views known to us, and, in view of the urgency of our task, we initially asked for written submissions to reach us before 30th August 1974; we later extended that deadline. We issued a press notice on 20th June giving details of the Committee and requesting submissions. This was printed in three newspapers on Friday 21st June 1974: the Irish News, the Belfast Telegraph and the Belfast Newsletter. No newspapers in England, Scotland or Wales published our press notice, and we had therefore to place paid advertisements in The Times and The Guardian. We also issued written invitations to the leading political parties in Northern Ireland and to all those organisations which we knew would be concerned in the problems of human rights and civil liberties in Northern Ireland, and we specifically requested information from the security forces, the judiciary and the Northern Ireland Office in London and Belfast.

We received written submissions from 61 different individuals, groups of individuals and organisations and considered each of them carefully; we invited 36 of them to give oral evidence, including everyone who expressed a wish to do so. A number of organisations submitted more than one memorandum or were represented before us by more than one individual; in all we considered 157 memoranda and heard 97 witnesses. A full list of those organisations and individuals who gave evidence is in Appendix A.

At our first meeting on 19th June 1974 we decided that, in the interests of security and of the protection of witnesses, all our meetings would be held in private and that we would not publish the evidence we received. We subsequently held ten hearings of one, two or three days' duration; five of these were held in Northern Ireland and the remainder in London. After the conclusion of these hearings we met for three further discussions, each lasting three or four days, in order to prepare this Report. In all the Committee met for a total of 29 days. We also visited Crumlin Road, the Maze and Armagh Prisons where we met staff, detainees and prisoners, including women and young persons. We visited Army posts and Royal Ulster Constabulary stations to meet and talk to the security forces on the ground.

During the course of evidence we heard some complaints against the security forces, the courts and the administration. We referred these to the bodies concerned for their comments. We have commented on some of these complaints in the relevant part of our Report.

As we were completing our Report Parliament passed the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974; we have reviewed our findings in the light of its provisions at the appropriate points in our Report.

We all desire to express our gratitude and appreciation to Mr Gerald Watson and Mr J Howard-Drake of the Northern Ireland Office; Mr P Coulson and Mr J M Steele, the Secretaries to the Committee; Mr A R Marsh, who at a critical point prepared abstracts of all our documents; Mr A H Dent and Mr M Hunter, and other members of the supporting staffs, including the secretaries who typed for long hours, often at night, to enable us to complete our Report on time. We owe a great deal to their efficiency and unsparing help. The frequency with which the Committee met and the large body of evidence, both written and oral, which we received combined to make the task of those who helped us particularly arduous. No Committee could have been better served.

Subject to the reservation of Lord MacDermott, our Report is unanimous.



1. The situation in Northern Ireland has altered considerably since Lord Diplock's Commission was asked in the autumn of 1972, as a matter of urgency, to consider means of protecting the community against terrorism, The Report of this Commission led to the passage of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973 (hereafter " the 1973 Act "), which has since formed the basis of much of the administration of criminal justice in Northern Ireland, and which we have been asked, among other things, to scrutinise with a view to amendment where necessary.

2. While shooting and bombing in Northern Ireland remain high by any standards, they have been much reduced over the last three years. Explosions, which totalled 1,382 in 1972, were down to 973 in 1973 and have fallen to 648 for the first eleven months of 1974. Shootings, which totalled 10,628 in 1972, fell to 5,018 in 1973 and to 3,052 for the first eleven months of 1974. Punishment shootings, however, such as "executions" and "knee-cappings," have recently increased: in the first eleven months of this year there have been 122 knee-cappings, as compared with 71 for the similar period in 1973. Details are shown in Appendix B.

3. On the political front, however, progress has been erratic. During 1973, as a result of patient inter-communal diplomacy by the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, a new constitution, based on the principle of " power-sharing ", was agreed upon and promulgated. An executive, containing for the first time representatives of both the majority and minority communities in Northern Ireland, came into office on 1st January 1974. But a politically motivated strike in May 1974 brought about its downfall and a return to direct rule from Westminster. The Secretary of State shortly thereafter announced that a Constitutional Convention would be convened, composed of representatives elected for the purpose by a fresh election in Northern Ireland. The purpose of this Convention will be to consider, " what provision for the government of Northern Ireland is likely to command the most widespread acceptance throughout the community there ".

Political Assumptions

4. Our work has been concerned primarily with the operation of the law, but it has had to be undertaken in something of a political vacuum, when the future arrangements for the government of Northern Ireland have yet to be determined and the elections to the Constitutional Convention have still to take place. Moreover, it has coincided with a time of growing questioning in Britain on the future relationship of Northern Ireland to the rest of the United Kingdom. It is therefore essential, before setting out our recommendations about the law and its administration, to make clear the political assumptions to which they are related. These include the following:

    (a) Northern Ireland will remain part of the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future, whatever form of political devolution from Westminster to Stormont may eventually command consensus. It follows that the Government at Westminster and the people of Great Britain cannot divorce themselves from responsibility for the political, social and economic development of Northern Ireland.

    (b) Until there is a marked reduction in violence in Northern Ireland which permits a significant reduction in the role of the Army, security must remain the responsibility of the Government of the United Kingdom, even though a wide range of other responsibilities may be devolved to Stormont.

    (c) Northern Ireland is not a homogeneous society. It consists of two communities which, despite many characteristics held in common, are divided in culture, religion and political sympathies. In a plural society such as this, the normal conventions of majority rule will not work. No political framework can endure unless (i) both communities share in the responsibility of administering Northern Ireland, and (ii) recognition is given to the different national inheritances of the two communities.

5. The first of these assumptions and its relation to the others may profit from some elaboration. Northern Ireland, with just over one and a half million people, is too small a community to undertake the restoration of its own stability without support from the rest of the United Kingdom. Its economic resources are limited, and a withdrawal of aid from the Westminster government could lead to the collapse of certain industries, which would increase unemployment and sow the seeds of further violence. The pool of skilled manpower, from which such essential services as the police and the prison service have to be recruited, is limited. It is made even more limited by the deep community divisions in the region.

6. In considering the administration of justice in Northern Ireland, we are charged to consider two matters:

    (a) the powers needed to deal with terrorism and subversion;
    (b) the preservation of civil liberties and human rights.
We now turn to some general remarks on each of these subjects.

Terrorism and Subversion

7. Political dissent is as old as political society; its roots may be resistance to oppression or simply idealism. The new factor in the long history of dissent is the effectiveness of the weapons its more extreme proponents can command. Terrorism is probably more widespread in both the industrial and developing world than at any other time in recent history. There are a number of reasons for this, which include the relative ease with which arms, money and terrorist skills can cross frontiers, the effect of mass communications in both facilitating and glamourising violence, and above all the vulnerability of complex industrial societies. But the greater ease with which terrorism can be organised does not legitimise it.

8. This is particularly evident in the case of Northern Ireland. To work through the process of political persuasion for a united Ireland, a Northern Ireland integrated with the United Kingdom or even a sovereign Northern Ireland is quite legitimate. But the terrorist organisations reject the democratic process and they can only embitter relations between Britain and Ireland. They cannot bludgeon the British out of Ireland and, as the events of November 1974 have proved, the extension of terrorism to Britain simply increases the resolution of the British. They can offer no gifts to the people of Northern Ireland by way of greater freedom, security, or prosperity which the people cannot now attain by legal and democratic means. Moreover, they command the support of only a small fraction of either the minority or the majority community in Northern Ireland. Because they are attempting to destroy Northern Ireland as a political society, terrorists who break the law - which in Northern Ireland gives greater protection to the accused than in most disturbed communities - are not heroes but criminals; not the pioneers of political change but its direst enemies.

9. The same is true of those who engage in subversion; who participate in attempts to undermine the authority of government or change its policy by forceful or obstructive means. Strong penalties already exist for those who devise or employ such tactics. The crime of treason felony, for instance, which is punishable by life imprisonment has been on the statute book for over a century to deal with those who intimidate Parliament. Yet the most effective protection against the development of a subversive situation lies elsewhere: in the recognition by government that it must act with speed to demonstrate its determination to sustain its authority, and in the recognition on the part of the public at large that it is they - not some remote official body - who are the target and will be the victims of subversive action.

10. There is one aspect of the problem of communal conflict which should not be overlooked in this context. It involves the special international obligations of the Government of the United Kingdom. In the first place the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are both members of the European Community, whose members explicitly recognise an even higher degree of obligation to co-operate than is the case between sovereign states in general (as expressed, for instance, in section 224 of the Treaty of Rome which specifically covers situations of internal disturbance in a member country). Secondly, the United Kingdom has been for over 25 years a leading member of the North Atlantic Alliance, whose function, as reiterated regularly in other contexts, is purely defensive. Consequently, in the case of any hostile action on the part of either the majority or the minority community against the other, which implied even the risk of civil war in Ulster or of organised violence spreading across the borders of the Republic, the Government of the United Kingdom would be obliged to deploy all the force at its disposal against such an action in order to honour its international as well as to discharge its domestic responsibilities.

11. The presence of influential communities of Irish descent in many parts of the English-speaking world means that a number of Britain's allies and Commonwealth partners have a keen interest in the stability of communal relations in Northern Ireland. Yet some of these same Irish communities have themselves helped to sustain violence there by their support for the paramilitary organisations.

12. The greater ease with which terrorism and subversion can now be organised, and the degree of fear it can generate in an otherwise peaceful society like Northern Ireland, make it unwise to compare the present emergency with similar troubles in Ulster in the inter-war years or in the 1950s. Terrorism and subversion in Northern Ireland can only be defeated, or guarded against, by the energetic pursuit of measures against them by the Government, and equally important - of continued, parallel progress in other fields of social, political and economic activity, especially of community relations as a whole.

13. Northern Ireland is now subject to direct rule from Westminster. This has been the position for many months and is likely to be the position for some months to come. Direct rule imposes upon Westminster the responsibility for policy making, policy implementation and the supervision of administrative services in many fields which are likely to become devolved powers at some future date. The full backing of the United Kingdom as a whole, together with all the necessary resources, must be made available to discharge these responsibilities. There must be no question of the responsibilities being regarded as transitory, since this will result in a lack of will, thus contributing to pessimism and frustration.

14. The struggle in Northern Ireland is only part of a larger conflict. The Rule of Law is presently under attack in many places throughout the world. Sometimes this takes the form of blatant terrorism; sometimes more sophisticated methods are employed. But where the attack, whatever its nature, succeeds, ordered democratic government is in jeopardy. The Rule of Law must therefore be maintained in Northern Ireland not only for the sake of its people, but for the sake of all those in the United Kingdom and beyond who want freedom and peace instead of anarchy.

Civil Liberties and Human Rights

15. Our terms of reference require us to consider the problem of terrorism and subversion outlined above with due consideration for the preservation of civil liberties and human rights. We have been set the difficult task of maintaining a double perspective; for, while there are policies which contribute to the maintenance of order at the expense of individual freedom, the maintenance without restriction of that freedom may involve a heavy toll in death and destruction. Some of those who have given evidence to us have argued that such features of the present emergency provisions as the use of the Army in aid of the civil power, detention without trial, arrest on suspicion and trial without jury are so inherently objectionable that they must be abolished on the grounds that they constitute a basic violation of human rights. We are unable to accept this argument, While the liberty of the subject is a human right to be preserved under all possible conditions, it is not, and cannot be, an absolute right, because one man may use his liberty to take away the liberty of another and must be restrained from doing so. Where freedoms conflict, the state has a duty to protect those in need of protection.

16. The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 sets out in Article 5 the general right of liberty and security of persons; but Article 17 specifically negates the right " to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein". Article 15 gives any High Contracting Party the right to derogate from its obligations under Article 5 "in time of war or any other public emergency to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation". The United Kingdom ratified the European Convention in 1951, and has given due notice of derogation necessary to deal with terrorism in Northern Ireland. The 1973 Act is therefore not in breach of international agreement.

17. The suspension of normal legal safeguards for the liberty of the subject may sometimes be essential, in a society faced by terrorism, to counter greater evils. But if continued for any period of time it exacts a social cost from the community; and the price may have to be paid over several generations. It is one of the aims of terrorists to evoke from the authorities an over-reaction to the violence, for which the terrorists are responsible, with the consequence that the authorities lose the support of those who would otherwise be on the side of government.

18. In the present situation there are neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland where natural social motivation is being deployed against lawful authority rather than in support of it. Any good society is compounded of a network of natural affection and loyalties; yet we have seen and heard of situations in which normal human responses such as family affection, love of home, neighbourliness, loyalty to friends and patriotism are daily invoked to strengthen terrorist activity.

19. The imposition of order may be successful in the short term; but in the long term, peace and stability can only come from that consensus which is the basis of law. The tragedy of Northern Ireland is that crime has become confused with politically motivated acts. The common criminal can flourish in a situation where there is a convenient political motive to cover anti-social acts; and the development of a " prisoner-of-war " mentality among prisoners with social approval and the hope of an amnesty, lends tacit support to violence and dishonesty.

20. We acknowledge the need for firm and decisive action on the part of the security forces; but violence has in the past provoked a violent response. The adoption of methods of interrogation " in depth ", which involved forms of ill-treatment that are described in the Compton Report (Cmnd 4823), did not last for long. Following the Report of the Parker Committee in 1972 (Cmnd 4901) these methods were declared unlawful and were stopped by the British Government; but the resentment caused was intense, widespread and persistent.

21. The continued existence of emergency powers should be limited both in scope and duration. Though there are times when they are necessary for the preservation of human life, they can, if prolonged, damage the fabric of the community, and they do not provide lasting solutions. A solution to the problems of Northern Ireland should be worked out in political terms, and must include further measures to promote social justice between classes and communities. Much has been done to improve social conditions in recent years, but much remains to be done. Though these matters, strictly speaking, lie outside our terms of reference, we should like to see a number of developments: the implementation of the recommendations of the van Straubenzee Report on Discrimination in the Private Sector of Employment (now eighteen months old); further improvements in housing; and a new and more positive approach to community relations. Consideration should be given to the enactment of a Bill of Rights. Measures of social reform may not produce immediate results in the reduction of violence. In Northern Ireland memories are long, and past oppression serves to colour present experience; but a more united community is the only real answer to the dilemma of maintaining peace while preserving liberty.



Number ParagraphPage
1.The greater ease with which terrorism can be organised does not legitimise it. 74
2.The problem of communal conflict involves the special international obligations of the Government of the United Kingdom.

3.Direct rule imposes upon Westminster the responsibility for policy making, policy implementation and the supervision of administrative services in many fields which are likely to become devolved powers at some future date. The full backing of the United Kingdom as a whole, together with all the necessary resources, must be made available to discharge these responsibilities.


4.The British Government has acted legitimately, and consistently with the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, in restricting certain fundamental liberties in Northern Ireland.


5.The continued existence of emergency powers should be limited both in scope and duration.

6.A solution to the problems of Northern Ireland should be worked out in political terms, and must include further measures to promote social justice between classes and communities. Much has been done to improve social conditions in recent years, but much remains to be done. A number of developments are desirable: the implementation of the recommendations of the van Straubenzee Report on Discrimination in the Private Sector of Employment; further improvements in housing; and a new and more positive approach to community relations. Consideration should be given to the enactment of a Bill of Rights.


7.Trial by jury is the best form of trial for serious cases, and it should be restored in Northern Ireland as soon as this becomes possible.

8.Trials of scheduled offences on indictment should continue to be conducted by courts without juries.

The courts under section 2 of the 1973 Act should continue to be constituted by a judge sitting alone.

9.Bail applications related to scheduled offences should remain as provided by section 3 of the 1973 Act except that:
(i) the section should apply to a judge of the Supreme Court as that term includes judges of the High Court and also the Lords Justices;

(ii) County Court judges should have the power to grant bail in the circumstances indicated;

(iii) the restriction on the grant of bail pending an appeal should be removed; 3613
(iv) a judge of the Supreme Court or the Court of Criminal Appeal should have jurisdiction to grant bail on compassionate grounds;

(v) Judges hearing applications for bail should be empowered to grant applications for free legal aid.

10.Section 5 of the 1973 Act (admissibility of written statements) should be repealed or allowed to lapse.

11.An additional subsection should be added to section 6 of the 1973 Act (admissions of persons charged) to declare the courts' discretion to exclude or disregard statements to which the section relates.


12.Section 7 of the 1973 Act (onus of proof in relation to offences of possession) should continue in force.

13.It should be made clear by legislation that scheduled offences tried summarily should not be subject to the procedures of Part I of the 1973 Act.

14.Section 1 of the Criminal Procedure (Committal for Trial) Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 should be amended on the lines indicated.
15. Offences under sections 25 to 33 of the Prison Act (Northern Ireland) 1953, when the prisoner involved had been convicted of or charged with a scheduled offence, should be inserted in the list of scheduled offences.


16.Section 22 of the 1973 Act (riotous and disorderly behaviour, etc.) should be repealed. 6020
17. The following procedural points in relation to scheduled offences should be implemented:
(a) section 2(3) of the 1973 Act should be amended so as to enable a non-scheduled offence, which is associated with a scheduled offence, to be tried with it, if the accused does not object;
(b) the reference to the Belfast Recorder's Court in section 4(2) of the 1973 Act should be deleted;
(c) section 43(2) of the Magistrates' Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 1964 should be amended as indicated
(d) paragraph (a) of section 45 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972 should be applied to preliminary investigations or enquiries before magistrates' courts in Northern Ireland.
18.It should be left solely to the discretion of the Attorney General to certify offences, whether applying to the security forces or not, as being non-scheduled when he considers this is to be in the best interests of justice.


19.The powers of proscription contained in section 19 of the 1973 Act should be retained.

20.A new offence of being concerned in terrorism should be created and included in schedule 4 of the 1973 Act, and:

(a) the definition of " terrorist " in section 28(1) of the 1973 Act should be amended to include " recruitment ";

(b) the definition. of " terrorism " in section 28 (1) of the 1973 Act be amended to include the use of violence for sectarian ends.

21. There should be a new summary offence of being disguised in a public or open place or in the vicinity of a dwelling house.

22.It should be made a summary offence for editors, printers and publishers of newspapers to publish anything which purports to be an advertisement for or on behalf of an illegal organisation or part of it.


23.The Governors of the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Independent Broadcasting Authority should re-examine the guidance given to programme controllers and companies about contact with terrorist organisations and the reporting of their views and activities.


24The existing powers of arrest and search in Part II of the 1973 Act should be retained subject to the following amendments.

(a) Section 13 of the 1973 Act should be amended to include a power to search for and seize communications equipment, unlawfully held or suspected of being used for an unlawful purpose.


(b) Section 16(1) of the 1973 Act should be amended to clarify the powers of the security forces to stop and question.

(c) The definition of the word " constable " in section 28(1) should be amended to make it clear that military police women are included.

25.Current studies on the regulation of cross-border vehicular traffic, the control of motor vehicles, the control of detonators and fertilizers and possible means of dealing with incendiary and "proxy" bombs should be pursued thoroughly and urgently.


26.Proposals which are in hand for the stricter control of firearms are welcomed and it is hoped that the requisite legislation will soon be implemented.


27.An independent means of investigating complaints against the police should be introduced, and its extension to the Army should be considered.

28.The prison system plays a most important role in the maintenance of law and order; it is not fulfilling that role adequately at present, and certain aspects of the prison situation are considered to be appalling.


29.The introduction of special category status for convicted prisoners was a serious mistake.

30.It should be made absolutely clear that special category prisoners can expect no amnesty and will have to serve their sentences.

31.The earliest practicable opportunity should be taken to bring special category status to an end.

32.Detainees should be kept in a completely separate prison; a new temporary prison for this purpose should be constructed by the quickest possible means.


33.Urgent steps should be taken to house young prisoners more suitably and to provide proper training.

34.The Government should find suitable sites oil which to begin construction immediately of both the temporary cellular prison for 700 and the permanent prison for 400-500, for which plans have already been announced.


35.The design of prison compounds should be modified to improve internal security, and their size should be considerably reduced.

36.Greater efforts should be made to increase prison staff by:
(a) reviewing rates of pay and allowances to attract more recruits.
(b) raising special grants and allowances to attract experienced officers from Great Britain.

37.Detention cannot remain as a long-term policy. In the short term, it may be an effective means of containing violence, but the prolonged effects of the use of detention are ultimately inimical to community life, fan a widespread sense of grievance and injustice, and obstruct those elements in Northern Ireland society which could lead to reconciliation. Detention can only be tolerated in a democratic society in the most extreme circumstances; it must be used with the utmost restraint and retained only as long as it is strictly necessary. We would like to be able to recommend that the time has come to abolish detention; but the present level of violence, the risks of increased violence, and the difficulty of predicting events even a few months ahead make it impossible to put forward a precise recommendation on the timing. We think that this grave decision can only be made by the Government


38.The provisions for the detention of terrorists contained in schedule 1 to the 1973 Act should be repealed.

39.The sole and ultimate responsibility for the detention of individuals should be that of the Secretary of State.

40.A Detention Advisory Board should be created to carry out the investigation of the cases of individuals proposed for detention. The following provisions should apply in relation to it:


(a) the enquiry should take place in private, witnesses being questioned individually and alone, without legal representation;

(b) the detainee should have the following rights:
(i) the right to make written representations to the Secretary of State who shall refer them to the Board and shall consider them himself; and

(ii) the right to appear before the Board but not to be legally represented or present when any other person is being questioned;

(c) the Board should consist of full-time holders of judicial office in England and Wales or Scotland, and have a membership limited to seven, three of whom should constitute a division for investigating cases 162


41.From the date of the making of the provisional custody order:
(a) seven days should be allowed for service of a written notice upon the detainee setting out the nature of the terrorist activities alleged against him;
(b) a further 21 days should be allowed from the service of the notice, for the Board to submit their written report to the Secretary of State;
(c) a further seven days should be allowed for the Secretary of State's decision as to whether to make a confirmed custody order or to direct the detainee's release.
Any non-compliance with these time limits should entitle the detainee to automatic release.

42.The existing criteria specified in paragraph 12 of schedule 1 to the 1973 Act should be amended as follows:
(a) the first criterion should include recruitment of persons for the purpose of terrorism;
.(b) the second criterion should be raised so that that a person should be detained only if his freedom would seriously endanger the general security of the public


43.The most appropriate release policy in such circumstances as we can foresee would be an ordered process for which preparation must be made in advance.


44.The sole responsibility for the release of detainees should be that of the Secretary of State.

45.A Release Advisory Committee should be set up to advise the Secretary of State; a panel of members

able to serve one or two days a week should be created, from which the Committee could be constituted for a particular session. 17548
46.A small pre-release centre should be established. 17749
47.A major, non-governmental organisation should be invited to mount a longer-term scheme of assistance to ex-detainees and their families in cases of special need.



*Signed subject to the reservation on page 57.

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