Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is reportedly looking to modernise 650-year-old treason laws in order to make it easier to prosecute jihadis returning from the Middle East.
An overhaul of the treason statutes in Britain — set to be included in the Queen’s Speech on May 11th — will update what qualifies someone as an enemy of the state, including “acts of betrayal” such as joining foreign terrorist organisations or hacker networks.
The revamped legal framework will also reportedly shift the burden of proof to the individual when travelling to terrorist hot spots such as Iraq or Syria. Under current law, the government has to prove nefarious intent by those who travel to such regions, and gathering hard evidence of crimes in such places is extremely difficult.
The updated law would require that travellers justify their travel or immediately face prosecution for treason on returning to Britain.