The Terrorist Asset Freezing Bill will not be mentioned in the Queen's Speech, but is included in the list that is published alongside the Queen's Speech.
The purpose of the Bill
Following a Supreme Court decision earlier this year quashing secondary legislation used to implement terrorist asset freezes, Parliament passed temporary legislation to maintain the UK’s terrorist asset freezing regime. This legislation expires on 31 December 2010. The Bill would put the UK’s terrorist asset freezing regime on a secure legislative footing.
The main benefits of the Bill
- To ensure that we continue to protect national security.
- To ensure we meet our United Nations obligations.
- To take proper account of civil liberties.
The main elements of the Bill
- The Bill would set out the framework for effectively implementing asset freezing in the UK, as required by the United Nations, and would put the regime on a secure legislative footing, ensuring that terrorist assets remain frozen.
- The Bill would set out the legal test for freezing assets, the process for making decisions, the scope of the prohibitions, exemptions provisions, criminal offences and appeal mechanisms.
Existing legislation in this area
- Terrorist Asset-Freezing (Temporary Provisions) Act 2001
- Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2001
- Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2006
- Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2009
The Orders above were validated by the Terrorist Asset-Freezing (Temporary Provisions) Act.
The Bill would extend to the UK and deals with reserved matters.