Terrorist precursor offences: Evaluating the law in practice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Terrorism Acts of 2000 and 2006 created a suite of new precursor offences related to terrorism. This article critically evaluates these provisions in light of how they have been interpreted and applied in practice. It focuses on three especially important offences: preparing acts of terrorism, disseminating terrorist publications, and collecting information of a kind likely to be useful to a terrorist. All three offences, it is concluded, have proved to be problematically broad in their scope, and to some extent avoidably so. Notable problems include the offences’ extension to conduct that carries little to no real risk of contributing to future terrorist attacks, their implications for innocent or even positively valuable conduct, and their likely consequent chilling effects on suspect communities. Suggestions are considered as to how these concerns might be addressed, while still respecting the offences’ underlying purpose and arguable principled core.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-685
Number of pages23
JournalCriminal Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • terrorism offences
  • preparation of terrorist acts
  • dissemination of terrorist publications
  • collection of terrorist information


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