HOME AFFAIRS – TREASON – 18 February 2019
Dr Julian Lewis: Although the law on treason is antiquated, the act of treason most certainly is not. From what the Secretary of State has been saying, it is quite obvious that there will be many people coming back for whom it will not be possible to establish by normal standards in a court of law that they committed crimes while volunteering and spending time in the so-called caliphate. I draw his attention to the recommendation by Professor Richard Ekins of Oxford University, published yesterday in the Sunday Telegraph, that Parliament should
“restore the law of treason, specifying that it is treason to support a group that one knows intends to attack the UK or is fighting UK forces.”
Will he seriously address that point?
[The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sajid Javid): My right hon. Friend makes a very good point. This is a complex situation and we should always be looking to see what tools we have at our disposal to ensure that those who are guilty of terrorism, or of supporting terrorist groups, are brought to justice. That means ensuring that we have the right laws in place. I referred earlier to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act, which received Royal Assent only last week, which gives the courts more powers. There are already powers in existence, including those covering extra-territorial jurisdictions. He made another important point about something else we could look at. I have read that article and heard what Professor Ekins has said in the past, and I think that it is worth considering it carefully.]