The Commission recognises that the proposals in the Bill go some way towards meeting human rights requirements that there should be clear and detailed rules governing the scope of investigatory powers and robust legal and operational safeguards against arbitrary use and misuse of powers. There remain, however, a number of areas of concern.
In scrutinising the Bill, we have had particular regard to the need to protect the right to privacy. The right to privacy is not absolute – it can, and must, be balanced against the need to, for example, fight crime and protect the public. However, the powers in the Bill, which are highly intrusive of privacy, must be subject to careful scrutiny to ensure that they are necessary and proportionate.
This briefing supports:
- Amendment 792, which would give the Judicial Commissioners power to refer issues of concern to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal without having to rely on a complaint being made; and
- New Clause 20, which enables the Investigatory Powers Tribunal to make a declaration of incompatibility under the Human Rights Act.
Last updated: 03 May 2016