Law Soc slams govt’s 42-day detention extension

The Law Society has criticised Government plans to increase the period of time for which a person can be held before they are charged.

A statement by The Society said that it is not convinced by the arguments put forward in favour of extending the pre-trial detention period from 28 days to 42.

It “insists that the current period, one of the longest periods of pre-charge detention in any comparable system, is sufficient even in cases of great complexity”.

The Law Society’s criticism coincides with the consideration of the Counter Terrorism Bill in the House of Commons this afternoon. The bill will then receive its third reading tomorrow (11 June).

Law Society president Andrew Holroyd said there is no evidence of any need to increase the 28-day period a suspect can be held before they are formally told the reason they are detained.

“The Government should not legislate to restrict liberty in this way on the basis of hypothetical scenarios, particularly as it may increase the risk to the public by alienating communities and making people less willing to come forward with information,” he said.

“The recently suggested government amendments do not alleviate these concerns.”