chapter  9
13 Pages

The balancing act: counter-terrorism and civil liberties in British anti-terrorism law

WithRhiannon Talbot

This chapter reviews the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCS) in the light of these two contrary forces, counter-terrorism effectiveness and civil liberties. Its provisions range from asylum and immigration law, through bribery and international finance, to police and security service power. It is not possible to review all of the sections of the Act and attention will focus upon those that have introduced the most significant changes. Perhaps the most criticised provisions are the extension of police powers, the changes to asylum and immigration law and the retention of communications data. The changes to the asylum and immigration laws are very significant, and in these provisions the dilemma for the authorities in reaching a balance between civil liberties and effective counter-terrorism measures is acutely demonstrated. Counter-terrorism legislation is often required to attempt to strike a balance between protecting civil liberties and ensuring that the state has effective counter-terrorism measures.