Clause 1 - Authorisation of criminal conduct

Part of Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Minister of State, Home Department 3:45 pm, 15th October 2020

The UK will comply with obligations under the Human Rights Act, including when they arise extraterritorially. The UK is also bound by obligations under international human rights law.

I wanted to speak to the new clause tabled by the Intelligence and Security Committee and I thank its members for their support for the Bill. I think that underlines the role for the ISC in the scrutiny that they apply. Indeed, as the Minister who took the Justice and Security Act 2013 through Parliament, I recognised, in the creation of that Committee, its role in providing that rightful scrutiny and confidence in relation to this matter. I welcome the spirit with which new clause 3 has been tabled to emphasise the important role of the Committee, which I respect and appreciate.

I have written to the Committee Chair, my right hon. Friend Dr Lewis, to underline ways in which I believe we can provide the information that has been sought by the Committee, and I will place the letter in the Library to provide that certainty and clarity. I would say to my right hon. Friend that operational agencies will consider requests and specifics in the usual way, and I can commit to them considering that through the 2013 Act. The fact that it may relate to a live operation should not preclude that information’s being shared. I hope that that will be helpful to him in underlining the importance of the information’s being forthcoming.