Failure to approve warrant issued in urgent case

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 21 April 2016.

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Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General 12:30, 21 April 2016

I resist the amendment. The hon. and learned Gentleman is right that we have considered similar amendments in relation to clause 23 in part 2 of the Bill. With respect, it is not right to fetter the discretion of the judicial commissioners, who are experienced and senior members of the judiciary. They should be allowed to decide such matters on a case-by-case basis. The amendment prompts the questions of what might be meant by “exceptional circumstances” and of who would determine whether the threshold had been met in a given instance. I worry that that would just complicate the process. We are all agreed that commissioners will give each case proper consideration, and the commissioners will seek to serve the clear public interest in ensuring that material that should not be retained is destroyed. Well intentioned though this amendment is, it would add undue complication, and we oppose it for that reason.