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 Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:45 pm, 15th October 2020

The House has had a debate this afternoon that has been both good and frustrating at the same time: good because of the quality of speeches and the thoughtfulness of those who have made them; frustrating because it needed so much more time. As Yvette Cooper, the Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee and Dr Lewis, the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee said, this is really no way to go about this sort of business. The difficulty for the Minister is that it is counterproductive, because all he has done in railroading our proceedings today is give a green light to those at the other end of the building, who lack our democratic mandate, to crawl all over this and fillet his Bill, which they most assuredly will do. I will seek to divide the Committee and test its opinion on amendment 16, but I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Proceedings interrupted (Programme Order, 5 October).

The Chair put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that time (Standing Order No. 83D).

Amendment proposed: 7, in clause 1, page 2, line 7, at end insert—

‘(1A) The granting of criminal conduct authorisations under subsection (1) may not take place until a warrant has been issued by a judge.

(1B) An application to a judge under subsection (1A) shall be made in writing and be accompanied by an affidavit of the person granting the criminal conduct authorisation which sets out—

(a) the facts relied on to justify the belief, on reasonable grounds, that a warrant under this section is required;

(b) the persons or classes of persons to whom the warrant is proposed to be directed;

(c) a general description of the place where the warrant is proposed to be executed, if a general description of that place can be given;

(d) the period, not exceeding sixty days or one year, as the case may be, for which the warrant is requested to be in force; and

(e) any previous application made under subsection (1A) in relation to a person who is identified in the application for the warrant, the date on which each such application was made, the name of the judge to whom it was made and the judge’s decision on it.”—(Conor McGinn.)