B859 - Treason and Terrorism Bill (Second Reading) Watch

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B859 - Treason and Terrorism Bill (Second Reading), TSR Labour Party

Treason and Terrorism Bill 2015
An act to establish the legal basis for treason charges and terrorism under a single statute.

Preamble: This bill establishes the nature of and punishments for crimes that, by their very nature, attack the state, endanger the public and disrupt the continued stability and governance of the United Kingdom with provisions made for acts of aggression against the Commonwealth realms, thus reenforcing our friendship with them.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1: DEFINITIONS
(1) 'treasonous crimes' is defined as any crime listed under Section 4, Section 5, Section 7 and Section 8 of this Act.
(2) 'Commonwealth realm(s)' is defined as a sovereign nation that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations that shares a constitutional monarch and line of succession with the United Kingdom.
(3) 'allies' is hereby defined as sovereign nations that actively support the United Kingdom in times of war or sovereign nations whose diplomatic interests align with that of the United Kingdom as identified by the UK Government.
(4) 'terrorism' is defined under Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
i. Terrorist activity being those crimes committed by individuals and organisations against the state under the provisions of this Act.
ii. Terrorist activity does not include state-approved actions carried out abroad.
(5) 'radiological device' is defined as any weapon that is designed to spread radioactive material with the intent to kill and cause disruption.
(6) 'nuclear device' is defined as any explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion.

2: INTERPRETATION
(1) Treasonable offences shall be classed under one of the following 2 crimes:
i. High Treason
ii. Felony Treason
(2) All matters of treason are reserved matters to the UK Parliament and shall apply equally throughout the United Kingdom.
(3) Any citizen or resident of the United Kingdom is liable to be charged with treason for the crimes listed in Section 4, Section 5, Section 7 and Section 8 of this Act.

3: REPEALS
(1) The Treason Act 1351 is hereby repealed.
(2) The Treason Act 1702 is hereby repealed.
(3) The Treason Act (Ireland) 1703 is hereby repealed.
(4) The Treason Act 1708 is hereby repealed.
(5) The Treason Felony Act 1848 is hereby repealed.
(6) Section II of The Crown of Ireland Act 1542 is hereby repealed.
(7) Passages of the Terrorism Act 2006 that conflict with this Act are hereby repealed.
(8) Passages of the Forgery and Counterfeit Act 1981 that conflict with this Act are hereby repealed.

4: CRIMES CONSTRUING HIGH TREASON
(1) To murder or kidnap or attempt to murder or kidnap:
i. the Head of State
ii. a sitting member of either House of Parliament
iii. a Justice of the High Court (including the High Court of the Justiciary)
iv. a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (including the President and Deputy President of said Supreme Court)
(2) To fail to surrender to the state its munitions and fortifications of war within 7 days of being commanded to surrender them.
(3) To levy war against the state (including joining military forces engaged in conflict against the state and her allies).
(4) To knowingly and without coercion aid or give shelter to those who levy war against the state.
(5) To move or stir any person to wage war against the United Kingdom, her allies or any of the Commonwealth realms.
(6) To deprive the rightful Head of State (as established in the law of the land) of their title and powers by means of violence.
(7) To deprive a duly elected or, where applicable, appointed member of either House of Parliament or of any of the devolved assemblies of their position by means of violence.
(8) To seek to compel the Head of State or either House of Parliament to take certain actions by threat of war, violence or terrorism.
(9) To seek to force a change of government by threat of war, violence or terrorism.

5. CRIMES OF TERRORISM AS HIGH TREASON
(1) To commit an act of terrorism.
(2) To make or possess a radiological device or nuclear device.
(3) To engage in any conduct in preparation for an intended act of terrorism (including conspiracy to commit an act terrorism).
(4) To use radioactive materials or devices in a terrorist attack (including the sabotage and attempted sabotage of nuclear facilities to cause a radiation leak).

6: PUNISHMENT (HIGH TREASON)
(1) The crimes listed in Section 4 and Section 5 will be punishable by up to 150 years of imprisonment without early release.
(2) The crimes listed in Section 4 will have a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.
(3) The crimes listed in Section 5 will have a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment.

7: CRIMES CONSTRUING FELONY TREASON
(1) To advocate, encourage or recommend in spoken words or writing or by some other expression the crimes listed in Section 4 and Section 5.
(2) To affect or attempt to affect the decisions of a member of either House of Parliament via bribery (under the Bribery Act 2010).
(3) To knowingly produce, distribute or use a counterfeit banknote or passport (including a document which can be used in place of a passport) or to have a machine designed for the production of these items without lawful authority or excuse.
(4) Where an individual may be charged with electoral fraud under the Representation of the People Acts 1983 and 1985, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, and the Electoral Administration Act 2006 they are also liable to be charged with Felony Treason where it can be determined that there was intent to subvert the democratic will of the electorate for corrupt purposes.

8. CRIMES OF TERRORISM AS FELONY TREASON
(1) To train others or receive training in terrorist activity:
i. Where such training is being offered by a prescribed terrorist organisation or
ii. Where it is reasonably known that the intended purpose of such training is to aid a terrorist organisation or to become a member of one.
iii. This includes those present at a place where such training is going on either in the United Kingdom or abroad provided the person knew or reasonably believed such training was occurring.
(2) To disseminate publications relating to terrorism that are:
i. likely to be understood as directly encouraging terrorism, or
ii. includes information which is likely to be understood as being useful in the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism.
(3) Knowingly trespassing on Nuclear Sites under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

9: PUNISHMENT (FELONY TREASON)
(1) The crimes listed in Section 7 and Section 8 will be punishable by up to 30 years of imprisonment.
(2) The crimes listed in Section 7 will have a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment.
(3) The crimes listed in Section 8 will have a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.
(4) The prisoner will become eligible for release at the halfway point of the custodial term, dependent on the Parole Board recommendation. If the prisoner is not granted parole at this point the prisoner is liable to serve the whole of the custodial term.
i. Where the fixed term sentence is less than 8 years this still applies.

10: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS AND DIRECTIVES
(1) The powers of the Home Secretary under the Terrorism Act 2006 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 shall extend to the investigation and prevention of treasonous crimes.
(2) Police powers under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 shall extend to the investigation and prevention of treasonous crimes.
(3) The principle purpose of this legislation is the protection of the United Kingdom and her citizens and residents and the protection of the institutions of the state to this end as such the Crown Prosecution Service must consider whether prosecution under this legislation is in the public interest on a case by case basis.

11: COMMENCEMENT, SHORT TITLE AND EXTENT
(1) This Act may be cited as the Treason and Terrorism Act 2015.
(2) This Act shall extend to the United Kingdom; and
(3) Shall come into force immediately.


NotesThis bill provides clarity, tying together the mess of legislation that concerns treason and terrorism whilst providing harsher sentences in a time when the country seems ever more threatened by extremism at home and abroad. Essentially this is a modernisation of treason laws - a lot of which are ancient, partly written in French, and overly focused on people who've slept with princesses.

This Bill has several effects:
  • Crimes previously punished as acts of terrorism are now punished as acts of treason.
  • Republicanism is no longer treasonous as long as it isn't pursued through violence.
  • Acts of terrorism and other crimes now, in several cases, receive considerably higher minimum and maximum sentences.
  • Solves the constitutional conundrum over wether one can be charged with treason without being a British National.
  • The Home Department and Police have powers to prevent treason as well as terrorism.
  • Electoral fraud and counterfeiting (of bank notes and passports) are now, once again, treasonous.
  • The archaic, virtually unreadable legislation has been repealed.
  • The focus for High Treason has become more based around protecting the state than just the Royal Family.
Several pre-existing Acts are referenced in this bill - links to each of these is provided here in the order they appear in the bill:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/Ed.../25/2/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/AnnSt2/1/21
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aip/Ann/2/5
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/apgb/Ann/7/21/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...12/12/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aip/Hen8/33/1
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/11/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/45
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/23/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1983/2
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/50/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/41/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/22/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/15/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/2/contents
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/28/contents


Changes Made for Second Reading
  • Minor changes to wording/spelling/grammar that do not effect meaning
  • 'foreigner' changed to 'person' in 4.5
  • Slight change to definition of 'allies'
  • Definition of terrorism expanded to remove any possible interpretation that terrorist activity can be carried out by the state itself
  • 4.4 changed with the phrase 'knowingly and without coercion' added
  • 8.1 expanded to remove any possible interpretation that our Armed Forces can engage in 'terror training'
  • 'Knowingly' added to 8.3 to reflect how some may accidentally trespass on restricted sites
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RotatingPhasor
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cBay
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(4) 'terrorism' is defined under Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
i. Terrorist activity being those crimes committed by individuals and organisations against the state under the provisions of this Act.
ii. Terrorist activity does not include state-approved actions carried out abroad.
so just to be clear, if the government approved drone strikes on two muslims on British soil (regardless of any crime they were suspected of committing or planning to commit), this would be considered a terrorist act? Good
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RayApparently
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Have made some important changes especially with things like 8.3

Aye.
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RayApparently
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(Original post by cBay)
so just to be clear, if the government approved drone strikes on two muslims on British soil (regardless of any crime they were suspected of committing or planning to commit), this would be considered a terrorist act? Good
That would be for the courts to decide but I expect that any government using drones to assassinate people at home would fit the definition of terrorism quite well.

Of course this legislation is written under the assumption that such a thing wouldn't happen.
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StolenPrivacy
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I seem to find myself agreeing with this bill
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Aye.
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localblackguy
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Aye.
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Jammy Duel
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Still a may from me, treason is still being disgustingly diluted, and as much as I would like to see terrorism being high treason, this is still two or three bills, not one.

8.1 could still be written much better too, although it is still vastly improved from the first reading.

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Andy98
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Aye

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TheDefiniteArticle
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Still a may from me, treason is still being disgustingly diluted, and as much as I would like to see terrorism being high treason, this is still two or three bills, not one.

8.1 could still be written much better too, although it is still vastly improved from the first reading.

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I don't think this is a legitimate complaint, so long as the bills are at least tangentially related. Look, for instance, at any of the Companies Acts.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
I don't think this is a legitimate complaint, so long as the bills are at least tangentially related. Look, for instance, at any of the Companies Acts.
The belief was explained in the first reading, I do not believe that even the tangential relationship should exist.

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Wellzi
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Now that I've reread the bill, I feel that the punishment should be much higher for high treason. Fair enough if you disagree with hanging them, but putting a maximum of 30 years? Nope, I can't see the logic there.
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United1892
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(Original post by Wellzi)
Now that I've reread the bill, I feel that the punishment should be much higher for high treason. Fair enough if you disagree with hanging them, but putting a maximum of 30 years? Nope, I can't see the logic there.
High treason has a maximum sentence of 150 years
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Wellzi
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(Original post by United1892)
High treason has a maximum sentence of 150 years
Ah, it appears I have misread the bill.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by United1892)
High treason has a maximum sentence of 150 years
And nobody will actually get that, almost everybody would get the minimum, or little more than.

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United1892
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
And nobody will actually get that, almost everybody would get the minimum, or little more than.

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You believe everybodys going to get the minimum punishment? Why?
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Good bloke
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Can someone please explain to me how it is possible to accidentally trespass on a restricted site, other than by inadvertently crashing an aeroplane onto it? These sites are guarded, surrounded by high fences and are festooned in signs explaining the situation.
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Can someone please explain to me how it is possible to accidentally trespass on a restricted site, other than by inadvertently crashing an aeroplane onto it? These sites are guarded, surrounded by high fences and are festooned in signs explaining the situation.
We added that in second reading as some members of the House felt it should be added.
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RayApparently
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(Original post by Wellzi)
Now that I've reread the bill, I feel that the punishment should be much higher for high treason. Fair enough if you disagree with hanging them, but putting a maximum of 30 years? Nope, I can't see the logic there.
Hopefully that's put your mind at ease - also notice the minimum sentences. We feel these will give the public some peace of mind that justice will be done. When discussing this bill I was shocked to find how lax punishments for some of these crimes could be.
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