Call for reform of stop and search powers

Police will need fresh powers enabling them to stop and search people at the Olympics opening ceremony, and in other sensitive circumstances, the government’s independent adviser on terrorism law is expected to warn today.

Lord Carlile, who is due to deliver a keynote speech at Dorchester Abbey, near Oxford, this evening, will argue that a replacement is needed for section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which has been ruled unlawful by the European court of human rights. That section, which allows officers to stop and search people without grounds for suspicion, has been at the heart of disputes between civil rights lawyers and ministers.

Carlile, a former Lib Dem MP, was appointed as the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation in 2005. He has been criticised for his defence of control orders, which restrict individuals to virtual house arrest on the basis of secret evidence.

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