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Legal Update - Counter-Terrorism is Now High on the UK Government’s Agenda

on Tuesday, 07 July 2015.

The new Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 ('the Act') is now part of the legal landscape. In March 2015, the UK’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST) published its annual review report for 2014.

This report highlighted that the threat level was raising. It is worth considering the legal changes for the aerospace and defence sector.

We think the key points are:

  • Counter-terrorism is now a key part of the Defence Strategy for the new government. All businesses in the aerospace and defense sector should make themselves aware of the issues.
  • CONTEST is split into four main areas of work - Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. The new Act helps increase 'Pursue' powers and also includes measures which deal with 'Prevent' and 'Protect'.
  • The Act places a new duty on Government organisations working with the public (such as schools, universities, local authorities and prisons) to do their part in preventing people being drawn into terrorism. This involves passing on any suspicions of extremism to the local authority for further consideration. There will be complex legal issues relating to the practical operation of these powers.
  • The Act also introduces measures enhancing aviation, shipping and rail security, including the re-introduction of ‘Exit Checks’, which will affect those leaving the UK. It will be interesting to see how this area develops. At present, the collection of passenger data is being marketed as an immigration and data tool.
  • The new government is introducing new proposals and counter-terrorism measures as a matter of urgency. The Act was pushed through Parliament with surprising speed. Security will be a hot topic for the foreseeable future and those in the aerospace and defence sector will need to keep abreast of the changes.
  • Although the Act obtained Royal Assent earlier this year, some sections have only just come into force. VWV are tracking the progress of the Act and will be providing updates as and when sections of the Act come into force.

If you would like further information, please contact Ben Holt in our Aerospace and Defence Team on 0117 314 5662.

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