UK’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation vows to focus on online extremism

Jonathan Hall has been appointed to a further three-year term

Jonathan Hall, QC, last month urged the authorities to look at separation centres to prevent extremists from forming gangs in prison.
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The UK’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation has pledged to focus on online terrorism after he was reappointed to the role for a further three-year term.

Jonathan Hall, QC, was first appointed to the role in 2019 and his tenure was due to end in May. This week the Home Office announced his reappointment.

“This year’s project is Terrorism Online,” he tweeted. “I will write more about this shortly.”

The Home Office said the decision was made due to his successful tenure and revealed that his new term in office would be from May 23, 2022, to May 22, 2025.

As part of his role, Mr Hall is required to provide an annual report on his findings, which the government must lay before Parliament and publish.

His latest report on extremism and radicalisation in prisons is due to be published shortly.

Last month, he urged the authorities to look at separation centres to prevent extremists from forming gangs in prison.

His appeal came after the conviction of three ISIS terrorists, including the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber, who had formed a gang in Belmarsh prison, London, and attacked a prison officer.

He suggested that measures such as “separation centres” could be used to keep terrorists in custody away from one another.

Mr Hall has also called for extremists to be given lie detector tests, arguing that deradicalisation programmes do not work.

He said there is “no magic bullet or special pill” that can help to change convicted extremists.

Mr Hall previously published a review into the London Bridge terrorist attack in which two people were killed, and made 45 recommendations.

In a second report, published last year, he made 28 recommendations to Home Secretary Priti Patel to overhaul the UK’s terrorism laws.

Updated: March 09, 2022, 1:15 PM