New laws to keep Home Office busy

The Home Office will be deluged with the mass of legislation proposed in the Queen’s Speech, say lawyers.

Clifford Chance director of public policy Hilary Plattern said the speech’s overall focus on home affairs and the sheer number of bills unveiled by the Government on 23 November was surprising.

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill attracted the most comment. The Law Society complained that the bill will extend police powers “too far”, risking an invasion into the liberty of the citizen.

Among the measures is an FBI-style agency to fight organised crime. A new offen-ce of incitement to religious hatred is also introduced.

Plattern said the lack of emphasis on the long-promis-ed corporate manslaughter bill was “very disappointing”. She added: “I’m not sure the Government can count on all these bills being passed before the next general election.”