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Government to extend lenient sentence appeal powers to more terror offences

Government to extend lenient sentence appeal powers to more terror offences
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The powers that allow members of the public and the victims of crime to call convicted criminals back to court to have their sentence assessed are to be extended to cover more terrorist offences.

An order will be laid before MPs next week to extend the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) procedure – which allows victims of crime and the general public to question judges on lenient sentences – will be extended to cover more terrorist offences.

These include encouraging terrorism, sharing terrorist propaganda, membership of banned organisation and failing to disclose information about a terrorist attack.

When someone makes a request for a sentence review under ULS, a senior law officer decides whether it is appropriate. When it is, the case can be referred to the court of appeal.

In total, 19 terror-related offences would be covered by the extension. The most serious terror offences already fall under the ULS scheme.

Justice minister, Dominic Raab, said: “We want the most robust sentences for any terrorist crimes and for victims to have every opportunity to see justice delivered.

“Our action will reinforce our focus on deterring people who help radicalise terrorists, and punishing those who wilfully turn a blind eye to terrorist activity.”

The move was mooted at the Tory party conference in 2015.

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