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The Commission's Terms of Reference

The Commission's Terms of Reference


1.1 The Commission will:

  • Review relevant UK counter-terrorism laws, policies and practices;
  • Consider their impact on different groups and communities;
  • Examine adherence to human rights standards and the requirements of the Rule of Law;
  • Make recommendations on changes in law, policy and practice.

1.2 In conducting its review and formulating its recommendations, the Commission will take into account:

  • Current threat posed by domestic and international terrorism;
  • Evolving challenges and emerging trends in the nature and scope of domestic and international terrorism
  • Evidence of the experience of civil society organisations, legislators, policymakers, practitioners, victims of terrorism, and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Evidence of relevant laws, policies and practices in jurisdictions outside the UK;


2.1 The issues examined by the Commission will include:

  • the definition of terrorism,
  • the understanding and evidence on radicalisation and the relationship between terrorism, violent extremism and non-violent extremism;
  • policing and investigatory powers;
  • criminal law offences;
  • administrative and executive measures;
  • regulation of finance;
  • artificial intelligence, data-sharing and social media;
  • Prevent and counter-radicalisation policies including their implementation and impacts on education, employment, health and social services;
  • prisoners, reintegration and rehabilitation;
  • legislative and policymaking processes, oversight and accountability


3.1 The Commission will:

  • Receive written evidence and hear both oral evidence in public and occasionally in private;
  • Commission expert working papers on relevant issues;
  • Convene international roundtables;
  • Invite evidence from key stakeholders;
  • Consider relevant information which is available from published and unpublished testimonies, research, and other reviews and investigations;
  • Publish its findings, conclusions and recommendations in a final report;
  • Publish relevant policy briefings targeted at particular audiences; and
  • Seek opportunities to engage in appropriate national, regional and international counter-terrorism, security and human rights policy forums.

Membership and Structure

4.1 The Commission is set up with the support of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of law but will function as an independent body.

4.2 The Commission will comprise no more than 15 Commissioners, who will be individuals with expertise, experience and understanding of counter-terrorism law and policy, its implementation and impact on communities.

4.3 The Commission will be chaired by the Rt. Hon Sir Declan Morgan QC PC.

4.4 The chair will lead a Steering Group (SG) and will invite Commissioners to join the steering group as require. The membership of the steering group will include the Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law.

4.5 The SG will draft the initial terms of reference and schedule of discussion papers to be commissioned. If Covid regulations permit, it will also develop a proposed schedule of residential plenary meetings, public hearings, and private meetings for Commissioners, or hold these virtually if physical meetings are not possible. The SG's draft papers, plans and proposals will be subject to review and approval by the full Commission.

4.6 The secretariat for the Commission will operate under the SG led by the Chair of the Commission. The Bingham Centre will provide administrative and research support to the secretariat.

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