This blog post is part of our Global Legal Collection Highlights series, launched by the Law Library of Congress in an effort to introduce our readers to foreign legal systems and sources. Several blog posts on various countries have already been published, including on Thailand, Malawi, Indonesia, the European Union, Kuwait, the Russian Federation, and China. Today it is my turn to contribute to our Global Legal Collection Highlights series. The idea of this series, as is probably clear from its name, is to highlight our foreign law collection and keep In Custodia Legis readers abreast of new and/or interesting items that have been added. We have recently had posts that relate to particular legal topics by Laney (The Rule of Law in China) and George (Kuwait Business Laws), while Theresa (European Union Law), Peter (Laws of the Russian Federation), Ruth (Israeli Law) and Kelly (Indonesia Law) each highlighted recent resources more broadly for different jurisdictions.
The Law Library of Congress has many varied holdings relating to the law of the United Kingdom. I want to take a moment to highlight a part of the UK legal collection that I have frequently called upon during the course of my career at the Library: materials relating to anti-terrorism law. In the United Kingdom, unfortunately, terrorism is not a recent phenomenon and Parliament has passed numerous acts and provisions that attempt to address the threat it poses to the country. The relevant provisions are mostly contained in the criminal laws, but there are also some constitutional provisions and parliamentary procedures that play an important role.
The most useful treatises for me when I start to write about anti-terrorism laws are known as “practitioner treatises” and I regularly use the following ones relating to criminal law:
- Blackstone’s Criminal Practice (2012 edition)
- Archbold: Pleading, Evidence, and Practice in Criminal Cases (2012 edition)
As oftentimes terrorism legislation is passed as emergency legislation, it is always good to know more about the parliamentary procedures that allow it to be pushed through. The following is the leading treatise on parliamentary procedure in the UK:
Other constitutional issues also arise when terrorism legislation is considered. The following treatise addresses some of these:
The following treatise are part of the Law Library’s collection and are specifically written to address the anti-terrorism laws of the United Kingdom:
- Clive Walker, Terrorism and the Law (2011)
- Clive Walker, The Prevention of Terrorism in British Law (1992)
- J. David Hirschel, William Wakefield, & Scott Sasse, Criminal Justice in England and the United States (2008)
- Alun Jones, Rupert Bowers, & Hugo D. Lodge, Blackstone’s Guide to the Terrorism Act 2006 (2006)
- Secretary of State for the Home Department, Counter-Terrorism Powers: Reconciling Security and Liberty in an Open Society: A Discussion Paper (2004)
- Laura K. Donohue, Counter-Terrorist Law and Emergency Powers in the United Kingdom, 1922-2000 (2001)
- Catherine Scorer, The Prevention of Terrorism Acts 1974 and 1976: A Report on the Operation of the Law (1976)
- C.A. Gearty & J.A. Kimbell, Terrorism and the Rule of Law: A Report on the Laws Relating to Political Violence in Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1995)
- Lord Carlile of Berriew, Report on the Operation in 2004 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (2004)
This last resource is just one of many reports on the operation of the main anti-terrorism statute by the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation in the UK. These reports are published annually and many of them are made freely available online by the UK government. Some are also available in the subscription databases onsite in the Law Library. There are a vast number of government papers that provide insight behind the legislation, including why the laws were drafted, considerations that were taken into account, and what the government intended to achieve as well as other options considered.
For more British legal materials held in the Library of Congress, please visit the Library’s online catalog. If you need research assistance, you can submit your questions through the Law Library’s Ask A Librarian system