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Any law which duplicates an existing offence

Comment 6th July 2010

All criminal offences should be repealed, which substanitally duplicate an existing criminal offence

Why does this matter?

A number of criminal offences introduced since 1997 appear to have duplicated existing criminal offences. For example, section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000 makes it unlawful to wear a uniform indicating membership of a banned, terrorist organisation.

But section 1 of the Public Order Act 1936 already makes it an offence to wear a uniform signifying association with any political organisation or with the promotion of any political object.

The wording of section 1 of the POA is wider than the wording of section 13 of the TA; i.e. there are no circumstances in which the offence of wearing a uniform under the TA would not also be an offence under the Public Order Act.

This legislation duplicatees an existing offence. Moreover, since 2000, as far as I can see there have been no successful prosecutions under this section of the Terrorism Act.

In those circumstances, shouldn't it be repealed?


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