Approval of warrants issued in urgent cases

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 12 April 2016.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office) 5:30, 12 April 2016

I will be brief. There is a real concern about the provision for urgent cases being three days. Although we need such a provision, that period allows warrants to be operable before the double lock can apply, and therefore the period should be as short as possible.

The problem is not only that three days is too much but that three days can, I think, be five days, because it is three working days, and therefore there is the potential for three days to morph into more than three. If I am wrong about that, I will happily be corrected. I have put my name to the amendments suggesting 24 and 48-hour periods, to give the Government the option to reduce the threshold to either of those and put it in terms of hours, which removes any possible confusion about the use of the word “days”.