Prevention of Terrorism

  • Richard Clutterbuck

Abstract

In October 1972 the Heath government appointed a Royal Commission under a senior Lord of Appeal, Lord Diplock, to consider legal procedures to deal with terrorist activities in Northern Ireland. At this time, the Special Powers Act had been in force for 50 years, and Lord Diplock’s Report,1 presented to Parliament in December 1972, proposed measures which resulted in the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act (NI(EP)A) 1973. The Diplock Report noted that the main obstacle to dealing effectively with terrorist crime was the intimidation of witnesses and juries; that the fear of intimidation was well founded; and that it was unfair and unrealistic to expect witnesses to give evidence at risk of their own lives or the lives of their families. He gave as an example a bus driver who had been shot dead when answering the door at his home when he was due to give evidence for the prosecution at a terrorist trial the next day.2

Keywords

Europe Explosive Dial Blindness Dock 

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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Lord Diplock, Report of the Commission to consider legal procedures to deal with terrorist activities in Northern Ireland, London, HMSO, December 1972.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Richard Clutterbuck, Protest and the Urban Guerrilla, London, Faber & Faber, 1973, pp. 97–8 describes this case more fully. The bus driver, Sidney Agnew, had made a deposition, of which a copy was given to the defence, and the judge ruled that this deposition was admissible as evidence. The terrorists were convicted, but this incident made witnesses extremely reluctant to give evidence in other trials, and highlighted the hazards of the prosecution having to make evidence available to the defence in advance of a terrorist trial.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    NICRA (Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association), The Emergency Provisions Act and why it should be repealed, Belfast, NICRA, 1974.Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    Lord Gardiner, Report of a Committee to consider in the context of civil liberties and human rights measures to deal with terrorism in Northern Ireland (Cmnd 5847), London, HMSO, 1975.Google Scholar
  5. 26.
    Earl Jellicoe, Review of the Operation of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1976 (Cmnd 8803), London, HMSO, 1983, pp. 21–2.Google Scholar
  6. 31.
    Lord Shackleton, Review of the Operation of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts, 1974 and 1976 (Cmnd 7324), London, HMSO, 1978.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Richard Clutterbuck 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Clutterbuck
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ExeterUK

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