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Prevent Review/New Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation

Volume 518: debated on Tuesday 9 November 2010

I am pleased to announce today that the Government are formally reviewing the Prevent strand of Contest, the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy.

That we need a preventative approach to terrorism is not in question: we have to deal with the causes of terrorism as well as its symptoms. But we want to avoid the mistakes of the previous Government. The new Prevent strategy will follow the principles of our counter-terrorism legislation. It will be proportionate to the specific challenge we face; it will only do what is necessary to achieve its specific aims; and it will be more effective. It will be separate from work to tackle wider forms of extremism and to promote integration, which is being led by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The review will, among other things:

look at the purpose and scope of the Prevent strategy, its overlap and links with other areas of Government policy and its delivery at local level;

examine the role of institutions—such as prisons, higher and further education institutions, schools and mosques—in the delivery of Prevent;

consider the role of other Prevent delivery partners, including the police and other statutory bodies;

consider how activity on Prevent in the UK can be more joined up with work overseas;

examine monitoring and evaluation structures to ensure effectiveness and value-for-money; and;

make recommendations for a revised Prevent strategy.

I am also announcing today a period of public consultation to enable delivery partners, front-line service providers and all other interested parties to participate in the review of Prevent. Contributions can be submitted by e-mail ( or online at: (

I am pleased to announce that Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the current reviewer of terrorism legislation, will provide expert, independent oversight of the Prevent review. His role is essential in ensuring that the review takes into consideration all the relevant information and looks at all the options.

I am also pleased to announce that I intend to appoint Mr David Anderson QC as the new independent reviewer of terrorism legislation. Mr Anderson QC is a specialist in European Union and public law and human rights and has been a QC for over 10 years. He is a Recorder and visiting professor at King’s College London. I expect him to take up this role early in the new year. Until then, I have extended the period of appointment of Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, as the current independent reviewer of terrorism legislation. During this period. Lord Carlile will also conduct a brief review of the arrests (and subsequent release) of six individuals under the Terrorism Act 2000 during the recent state visit to the United Kingdom by the Pope.

I am extremely grateful to Lord Carlile for his willingness to continue in his role, one he has performed with distinction.