Clause 1 - Authorisation of criminal conduct

Part of Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden 1:45 pm, 15th October 2020

The right hon. Gentleman is right, and we should not forget that the clause that was used requires ministerial approval, not approval by an officer under the pressure of, as it were, almost the battlefield sometimes. A Minister in Whitehall approved it, and it still happened. There were two sets of inquiries into those problems, one by Lord Stevens, who is nobody’s softy, and one by Sir Desmond de Silva. The latter concluded that the problems required some recognised limits to the extent to which agents should become involved in criminal enterprises and a rigorous regulatory framework to prevent abuses—not a woolly reference to the Human Rights Act.