A short guide to the terrorism act in the UK

Terrorism has been an issue the world over for centuries, but understandably ever since 2001, it has been brought more into focus following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.

And this has allowed the Terrorism Act of 2006 to come into effect in the UK. It is worth noting that if you are accused of any of the sections of the Terrorism Act, you will need to start building your defence as soon as possible and should contact a criminal solicitor for advice.

While this act is incredibly technically dense and difficult to get into, the following article provides a brief outline of what the areas of the act are that you will need to know if you are ever charged with terrorism or any of the related offences. So, read on to learn more!

What is terrorism under UK law?

This is where it becomes a bit technical, but in general in the UK, terrorism is defined as using an action or a threat in both the UK and outside to influence international governments or to provoke intimidation. This can be to advance a cause, such as an ideology related to politics or religion. It may seem very strange, but back when the suffragettes were trying to get women to have the vote, they would have been considered a terrorist organisation in modern society under this law.

How long is the sentence for terrorism in the UK?


If you are found guilty of terrorism, according to the counter-terrorism act of 2021, there is a minimum sentence of 14 years in jail. But there may be an extension period added on, which you would be served on a licence, which can vary from 7 to 25 years on top of this.

With such long sentencing, it is easy to see why you would need the help of a solicitor who specialises in this area. So, if you find out that you are going to be charged with any offence under the Terrorism Act, seek to find an appropriate legal team to defend you.

What is considered inciting terrorism?

Inciting terrorism is a little bit dense in its definition under UK law. In simple terms, if you are inciting terrorism, you are encouraging acts of violence and  praising the terrorist organisations. For example, if you were in Ireland during the IRA bombings and you reported that you agreed with what this organisation was doing, this could be seen as inciting terrorism.

What is the legal defence against terrorism?

The legal defence against terrorism is quite minor, as in the modern age most things are recorded on computers or other software which is verifiable. However, the most common defences against being accused of terrorism typically include issues with mental health, as those who fall under the vulnerable category are typically targeted by groups, a case of mistaken identity or being involved to a lesser extent in the act.

Can you be arrested for links to terrorist organisations?

Yes, you can be arrested if the police suspect that you have links to a terrorist organisation. But to hold you or even charge you for this, they would need to find proof, otherwise they would need to release you without charge.

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