In recent years, the criminal law relating to terrorism offences has become vaster and more complex as it continues to deal with the actions of terrorist groups and individuals. Legal instruments have created wide definitions and extended powers relating to the investigation and prosecution of those suspected to be involved in terrorist activities. What this means for people who are under investigation or have been arrested is that the assistance of skilled terrorism defence solicitors is more important than ever in order to navigate this complicated body of law and preserve the fundamental principles of the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence.
We are a firm of proficient criminal defence lawyers who regularly advise clients dealing with terrorism charges. When working on such cases, our solicitors apply their understanding of this intricate field of law, carefully scrutinise all evidence collected by the police and prosecution, and vigorously challenge any points of contention. Together with our commitment to protect our clients’ rights, these components are essential when defending terrorism allegations. Harris Solicitors provide a 24 hour service, so please get in touch at any time for assistance.
The complex nature of the law on terrorism can leave suspects confused, which only adds to the stress of being the subject of a serious crime investigation. Here we aim to provide readers with a basic understanding of the law, the wide powers afforded to the authorities in investigating terrorist activity and the defence approach in cases of this kind. This is only intended to be general information. For specific advice, contact experienced terrorism offences defence lawyers.
Since the tragic events of 9/11 and the July 7th bombings in London, the approach to tackling terrorism throughout the world changed significantly. In the UK, we’ve witnessed a very active response with the introduction of a number of counter-terrorism laws, including the Terrorism Act 2000, the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, the Terrorism Act 2006 and the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008. This body of legislation specifies a wide range of terrorism offences. These include, but are certainly not limited to:
The resulting approach is robust, bolstered by the fact that in practice, where the circumstances of a case do not amount to terrorism, convictions for other crimes, such as murder, illegal possession of firearms or money laundering, may alternatively be brought against the defendant.
As well as creating a broad set of terrorism offences, the new legislation and accompanying resolutions and orders also extends the standard investigation powers of the police and other relevant bodies for dealing with terrorist activities. While the most draconian have since been repealed because of their interference with civil liberties, strong powers still remain. For example, the police have the authority to detain a terrorist suspect for questioning for a much longer period of time than they do for other serious crimes.
While this approach has been adopted to protect the public from acts of terrorism, the extensive anti-terrorism powers and the wide legal definition of terrorism often means innocent people become embroiled in police investigations. Additionally, concerns are frequently raised when it comes to the treatment of suspects during investigations and trials, especially with regard to their human rights. The right to a fair trial is enshrined by the Human Rights Act 1998 and is one of the core principles of our criminal justice system. Further, the existing legal framework particularly affects religious, ethnic and minority groups. When someone is subject to such far-reaching powers, skilled criminal defence lawyers are in the best position to maintain the defendants’ rights.
Defence solicitors with expertise in this area of the law should be contacted as early as possible as many actions that may infringe on a suspect’s rights take place during the police investigation and questioning stages. While the investigating bodies’ powers may be strong, they are not unlimited. The defence team should ensure that the police follow the correct procedures and challenge these wherever possible.
If the case proceeds to trial, the defence team should examine all the evidence collected by the police and prosecution in order to identify whether there are any issues with the legality or admissibility of such evidence. Evidence will also be gathered by the defence team in order to support areas of contention with the prosecution’s case. Each case is different and therefore it’s difficult to provide details on a specific defence. That’s why it’s important to explain your situation to legal experts who will apply their knowledge to your particular situation.
With a solid background in dealing with serious criminal offences and high-profile cases, Harris Solicitors is in an excellent position to deal with the full range of terrorism offences and get clients the most satisfactory conclusion. In a recent case, due to the dedication and skills of our lawyers, serious charges were dropped against our client – who admitted his involvement in serious terrorism offences – and a very short sentence was imposed.
Protecting your rights and best interests is at the heart of what we do, and this is of utmost importance when dealing with terrorism cases. Our solicitors are committed to fairness and remain alert to any circumstances that may encroach on your rights. We are also mindful of the fact that terrorism cases come with a lot of media attention and social stigma and we will do whatever we can to minimise these elements.
If you are dealing with investigation or prosecution for terrorism, contact us for initial advice and find out more about how we can help you. Call us on 01274 392 177. Alternatively, if your matter is urgent and it arises out with office hours, please call 07872835267 or 07590289197.
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