Protections of freedom bill under scrutiny
2 March 2011
Updated | The Protection of Freedoms Bill received its second reading in Parliament yesterday, followed by debate.
The bill will have significant implications for civil liberties, although some of the changes, such as those relating to the retention of DNA, the reduction of child protection police checks, and police stop and search, have arisen from court rulings rather than a proactive attempt to roll back the state.
The Parliamentary debate can be watched here (it begins at around 17:38 with a statement by Home Secretary Teresa May) and the transcript is here. To whet your appetites, this is part of May’s opening speech:
Today we have a rare opportunity. The Bill gives us a chance to roll back the creeping intrusion of the state into our everyday lives, and to return individual freedoms to the heart of our legislation. Under the last Government, we saw a steady erosion of traditional British liberties and a slow march towards authoritarian government. They presented us with a false choice between our future security and our historic liberties, disregarding any notion of balance between the two.
We have covered the bill most recently by way of my post on the bill’s potentially revolutionary “public reading stage” whereby the public can comment on individual provisions. We have also published a guest post from Dr Cian Murphy. He said it was “no Magna Carta” and “does little to coherently explain the coalition’s view of the appropriate relationship between the state and the citizen”. We also posted Timothy Pitt-Payne QC’s response to the bill from a privacy perspective.
The BBC website has a useful summary of the Bill’s main features. Blogger ObiterJ has provided an excellent 6-part series of posts on the Bill, which is worth reading in full. The parts are linked to below.
- A look at the Protection of Freedoms Bill – No.1
- Protection of Freedoms Bill – No. 2 – Public Reading Stage
- An Englishman’s Home is His Castle but ….. Protection of Freedoms Bill No. 3
- Vehicle immobilisation (clamping) … The Protection of Freedoms Bill No. 4
- “Big Brother” powers – the Protection of Freedoms Bill No. 5
- “Counter-terrorism powers” – The Protection of Freedoms Bill – No.6
- Vetting and Barring and Criminal Records: The Protection of Freedoms Bill No.7
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