Counter-terrorism review

The government has launched its review into Britain's counter-terrorism laws, providing what activists are calling a "once in a generation" opportunity to restore Britain's civil liberties.

Home secretary Theresa May confirmed the long-awaited review had already begun, and said it would look at six areas: the use of control orders, stop and search powers in section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and the use of terrorism legislation in relation to photography, the detention of terrorist suspects before charge, extending the use of deportations, measures to deal with organisations that promote hatred or violence, and the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa) by local authorities.

Lord Ken Macdonald QC will provide independent oversight of the review, which will report back in autumn. He has been credited with securing several convictions in high-profile terror cases and is well respected by both national security experts and civil liberties advocates.

The commitment to restoring Britain's civil liberties is an important part of the coalition agreement and the move has been greeted with approval by the Liberal Democrats.

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