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Repeal the Civil Contingencies Act

Comment 12th July 2010

This Act gives the most sweeping powers ever to a Government, to be invoked and used in times of emergency, of which it is the sole judge.

It removes Habeus Corpus, the Bill of Rights, gives the right to suspend laws relating to criminal evidence and freedom of expression, requisition property, compel or limit the movement of individuals.

Wrongly used, it is the most repressive measure imaginable, the type of measure Hitler used to initiate his abolition of democracy in pre-war Germany.

Most of the measures are contained in existing emergency and civil defence legislation already, but with greater safeguards.

This measure should be repealed and all emergency legislation reviewed. If necessary a fresh Act could be drafted, with proper safeguards incorporated: the most important being that it could only be invoked by Parliament and not by Government diktat. It should include an automatic time limit of (say) three months before automatically lapsing, and should not be extended without another Parliamentary debate.

If anyone doubts how dangerous this Act is, look at the lengths the last Labour administration went to when trying to introduce long periods of imprisonment without trial.

Why does this matter?

This Act is dangeropus to liberty and democracy as practised in this country. It is not necessary in this form. We deserve to have our Legislation carefully thought out and spelled out.

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