Requirements which must be met by warrants

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 21 April 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General 12:45, 21 April 2016

To deal with the thrust of the hon. and learned Gentleman’s argument, we would say that the amendments are unnecessary because the draft statutory code of practice already requires an application for a targeted warrant to set out what the conduct is and how collateral intrusion is being managed, which is the really important public interest here. That should rightly be in the warrant application itself, and the detailed requirements should be in the statutory code; that was recommendation 5 in the report by David Anderson QC, so we are faithfully following his recommendation.

On the code of practice, the hon. and learned Gentleman will find the requirements under the heading “Necessity and proportionality”, particularly in paragraphs 3.26, 3.27 and 4.10, which deals with collateral intrusion.

I note that amendment 453 is part of this group, so I will speak briefly to that. We have concerns that I have expressed before in other contexts about the problem of the police being asked to exhaust alternative methods even where there is unlikely to be any effect. That is not only wasteful and costly, but could unintentionally lead to further undue intrusion into people’s privacy. For those reasons, I have grave concerns about that amendment.