Law and religion round-up – 25th October

The big news of a busy week was the publication of the Government’s new counter-extremism strategy. Here’s some of the other stuff… 


On Monday the Government introduced its new counter-extremism strategy – which did not, as it turned out, include registration of “faith-leaders”. We posted a summary: long, but considerably shorter than the document.

The Psychoactive Substances Bill – again

On Friday the Commons Home Affairs Committee published its Report on the Psychoactive Substances Bill. It concludes, inter alia, that

“The Government is right to legislate on this issue. However, the speed at which the Government has brought forward this legislation, without any consultation on the specific detail of the Bill, has resulted in some weaknesses in the legislation being identified. We would have preferred the concerns to have been addressed in a less piecemeal manner. Communication with the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has been unsatisfactory…” [20]

The Committee recommends that “the Government reconsider the definition of a psychoactive substance, with the benefit of the advice the ACMD have provided” [32]. The AMCD’s preferred definition was:

“Psychoactive substances which are not prohibited by the United Nations Drug Conventions of 1961 and 1971, or by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, but which may pose a public health threat comparable to that posed by substances listed in these conventions” [29].

Which, presumably, would not include incense-fumes.

Continue reading