Home Office circular 007 / 2011
Schedule 7 (TACT 2000) Revised TACT 2 form
Schedule 7 Terrorism ACT 2000: Code of Practice for Examining Officers
Regulations governing the criminal legal aid scheme in England and Wales provide that:
‘Regulation 4 - The (Legal Services) Commission shall fund such advice and assistance, including advocacy assistance, as it considers appropriate in relation to any individual who…
k) is detained under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000.’
(Criminal Defence Service (General) (No2) Regulations 2001/No.1437
A detainee’s eligibility to publicly funded advice in respect of Schedule 7 is subject to a means and merits test.
In light of this, the TACT 2 form included in the Code of Practice for Examining Officers, introduced on 2 July 2009, is incorrect in stating that ‘Consultation with a solicitor will not be at Public Expense’.
In order to formally correct this error, a revised code of practice must be laid before and agreed by Parliament. However, as an interim measure the attached TACT 2 (Interim 2011) should be used with immediate effect. This form advises all those detained under Schedule 7 (whether detained at a police station or not) that they may consult with a solicitor which may be at public expense.
Schedule 8 provides the right to consult a solicitor, as soon as reasonably practical, privately and at any time. Although in the Terrorism Act 2000 this applies only to those detained at a police station, the code of practice requires a TACT 2 to be served on all those detained and this remains the case. Notwithstanding that the statute does not provide a right to legal advice other than at a police station, all detainees irrespective of the location should be offered access to legal advice.
More detailed guidance regarding the most practical method of delivering such advice services will be issued by the national coordinator protect and prepare in due course. Until this is circulated, forces should identify appropriate processes locally to ensure that an individual detained is able to consult with a solicitor if they so wish.
The decision as to whether such a consultation with a solicitor falls to be at public expense is not one for an individual examining officer. The examining officer’s role is limited to facilitating contact with a solicitor if requested and the solicitor is responsible for considering whether the consultation can be at public expense.
The Home Office recognises that the nature of some locations where Schedule 7 examinations and detentions can be carried out may not be designed to meet the requirements of this notice. Where private consultation with a solicitor by appropriate means would not be possible when it has been requested, then forces should consider whether changes to accommodation are necessary. Alternatively they should make arrangements for individuals in such a position to be transferred to a police station. It is also recognised that in meeting the requirements of this circular, the examinations of individuals who have been detained may take longer to complete.
The position regarding consultation with a solicitor for those examined but not detained under Schedule 7 remains unchanged. This may be allowed at the examining officer’s discretion, but does not fall to be provided at public expense. The TACT 1 included in the Code of Practice rat Annex remains valid. This notice will remain extant until such time as the Code of Practice is revised.