The Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2013 should be reviewed because it seeks to give too much power to the State, at the expense of the liberty of the individual.
Dr. Francis Alexis draws attention to the part of the Bill which would put into law the clause which says that: ‘The Attorney General if he believes that an organisation is engaged in committing terrorist acts may by order- (a) add an organisation to the Fifth Schedule ; or (b) amend the Fifth Schedule in some other way .’
There are two objections here, Alexis points out. First, the clause needs to qualify the belief, which the Attorney General should have, as by saying that he might act if he ‘reasonably believes’ what is stated.
So too, Alexis adds, the Act cannot simply leave it to the Attorney General to amend the Fifth Schedule ‘in some other way’; the Act must spell out expressly what is the way in which he may do so.
Further, Alexis contends, the Bill should not enable the Court to make an order freezing a person’s property on application by the DPP ex parte, behind the back of the person concerned, without more.
The Bill should say that such an order may not be made unless the DPP satisfies the Court that there are reasonable grounds for concluding that the person cannot be reached or is avoiding the law.
On all such grounds the Bill is offensive, and should be overhauled, Alexis argues.