Specialist lawyers dealing with terrorism offences
Olliers have specialist knowledge and experience in defending in cases brought under counter terrorism legislation.
Terrorism can be defined as the use or threat of action, both in and outside of the UK, designed to influence any international government organisation, or to intimidate the public. It must also be for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause. serious violence against a person or damage to property. It can include acts which endanger a person’s life (other than that of the person committing the action), or acts which creating a serious risk to the health or safety of the public. It could also include action designed to seriously interfere with or disrupt an electronic system. The planning, assisting or even researching how to commit terrorist acts are all crimes under terrorism legislation.
It is a complex area and should you find yourself under investigation in relation to such matters you should seek legal advice.
Counter Terrorism Legislation:
Whilst terrorist offences can be dealt with under more familiar charges such as conspiracy to murder, or conspiracy to create an explosion, there are a number of significant pieces of counter terrorism legislation which create more specific offences in this area:
The Terrorism Act 2000
This created wide range of offences including:
- Being a member of a ‘proscribed organisation’
- Raising funds for or donating money to a proscribed organisation
- Receiving or providing money for the purposes of terrorism
- Facilitating the laundering of terrorist money
- Failing to inform the police if a person believes that someone they know is in preparation of acts of terrorism. A person commits an offence if he/she does not disclose the information to the police as soon as reasonably practicable.
- Collecting or making a record of information likely to be useful to a person committing an act of terrorism
- Possessing a document or record containing the above kind of information
The Terrorism Act 2006
This widened the scope of the counter terrorism legislation by adding additional offences including:
- Engaging in the preparation of terrorist acts (s5)
- Assisting others in the preparation of acts of terrorism
- Providing or receiving training for terrorism or attending any place where terrorism training is being conducted
- Encouraging terrorism, including the publishing of material which could be useful to a person in the preparation of acts of terror
- Distributing a terrorist publication with the intention of encouraging acts of terrorism.
The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019
This recent development included measures to increase sentences for several terrorism offences and to end automatic early release for convicted terrorists. Some of its provisions are set out below:
- The Act creates an offence of ‘reckless expressions of support for a prescribed organisation’
- It creates an offence of publication of images related to a proscribed organisation
- It creates an offence of obtaining or viewing terrorist material over the internet
- It creates an offence of entering or remaining in a designated area
- It increases the maximum sentences for encouragement of terrorism and dissemination of terrorist publications to 15 years
- It makes extended sentences available for terrorism offences
- It ends automatic early release and allowed a longer period on licence
- It strengthens notification requirements on convicted terrorists, and introduces greater powers to enter and search their homes
- It extends Serious Crime Prevention Orders for terrorism offences
- Section 18 amends the Terrorism Act 2000 so that the pre-charge detention clock can be paused when a detained person is transferred from police custody to hospital.
Leading lawyers for terrorism related offences
Matt Corn has experience in representing an individual charged with preparing for acts of terrorism (TA 2006 section 5) and disseminating terrorist publications (section 2) as part of a large scale undercover operation in Manchester. In 2019 he represented an individual interviewed under caution in relation to Operation Manteline (Manchester arena attack).