Gerard Hillman and Sarah Day present: "Fishmongers' Hall and Streatham Hill: effective reform of the law on terror or political soundbites?"
In the run up to the general election on 12 December 2019, Usman Khan’s attack at Fishmongers’ Hall in London on 29 November 2019 resulted in one of the most debated issues, aside from Brexit, prior to voters arriving at the polling stations.
Usman Khan was on licence following his release from a 2012 sentence for a terrorism offence when he committed this horrendous act. This was followed on 2 February 2020 by Sudesh Amman’s attack in Streatham Hill.
The new Conservative government’s reaction was blunt and designed to give the impression that this administration was going to be tough on terrorists. On 26 February 2020, the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Act 2020 came into force. This introduced section 247A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, requiring all “fixed-term prisoners” (both current and future) serving sentences for specified offences under the terrorism legislation to serve two-thirds of their sentence before being considered for release (increased from one half).
This lecture will focus on whether the legislation has succeeded in achieving the government’s aim of being tough on terrorists or whether it was political posturing.
In particular, both prior to and following the election, there was little or no discussion of the impact of the amendments on sentences for children and young people who were convicted of specified offences under the terrorism legislation and this apparent lacuna will be considered.
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