Court: Investigatory Powers Tribunal

Investigatory Powers Tribunal rules on its own jurisdiction in relation to overt/covert surveillance

Z3 v Secretary of State for the Home Department, The Security Service and others [2022] UKIP Trib 4

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (Rt Hon Lord Boyd of Duncansby, Vice-President, Edis LJ and Charles Flint KC) handed down judgment on 2 November 2022 in relation to a preliminary issue on whether the Tribunal had jurisdiction to consider a complaint brought by Z3. Z3 was a naturalised British citizen who was convicted of an offence […]

Investigatory Powers Tribunal declines to give general guidance on procedure for seeking statutory assistance from Investigatory Powers Commissioner

Privacy International & Others v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs & others [2021] UKIPTrib IPT_17_86_

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal considered the “IPCO issue” concerning the mechanisms that the Tribunal should use when it seeks statutory assistance from the Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC) under section 232(1) of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. The IPCO issue arose in the context of the proceedings Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and […]

Investigatory Powers Tribunal finds that s94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 is incompatible with EU law

Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Ors [2021] UKIPTrib IPT_15_110_CH

The claimant brought proceedings before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal alleging that the regime set out by s94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 that stipulates that the Secretary of State may make directions as to the use of ‘Bulk communications data’ (BCD), is incompatible with EU Law. Proceedings were commenced in 2015, where the Tribunal gave […]

IPT rules by a majority in favour of MI5 in a case raising “one of the most profound issues which can face a democratic society governed by the rule of law”

Privacy International & Ors v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs & Ors IPT/17/86/CH, IPT/17/87/CH

The claimants, all non-governmental organisations, challenged a policy which they submitted purports to ‘authorise’ the commission of criminal offences by M15 officials and agents. They alleged this policy was unlawful, both as a matter of domestic public law and as being contrary to the Human Rights Act 1998, Sch 1.

The Tribunal dismissed the claim. It found that the Security Service does have the power to undertake the activities which are the subject of the policy under challenge as a matter of public law. This did not mean that the Security Service has any power to confer immunity from liability under either the criminal law or civil law on either its own officers or on agents handled by them. The Court held that it was clear from the wording of the policy that it does not confer any immunity from criminal prosecution on anyone. There is nothing improper or unlawful about the Security Service having such a policy. The oversight powers given to the IPC now, and previously to the ISC, do provide adequate safeguards against the risk of abuse of discretionary power. The Tribunal wasn’t convinced that the claimants had standing to rely on Convention rights and Convention rights didn’t arise as a matter of substance.

Bulk communications data sharing with foreign agencies etc compliant with ECHR, art 8

Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2018] UKIP Trib IPT 15 110 CH

This case dealt with: (i) the Telecommunications Act 1984 s 94 relating to the obtaining of bulk communication data pursuant to directions given under that Act. “This issue was expressed as whether there had been unlawful delegation of the statutory powers of the Foreign Secretary under s 94, but it has been expanded so as […]