Modification of warrants

Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 26 April 2016.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office) 5:15, 26 April 2016

I rise to speak to amendment 733, in clause 186, page 142, line 31, at end insert—

“(c) may be made only if the Secretary of State considers that it is necessary for the purposes of the warrant”.

With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment 527, in clause 186, page 143, line 16, at end insert—

“(12) Any modification which constitutes the adding or varying any matter must be approved by a Judicial Commissioner in accordance with section 179.”.

This amendment adds the requirement to obtain approval from a Judicial Commissioner for any modification which constitutes the adding or varying (but not removing) any matter for each type of warrant.

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office)

We are in the familiar territory of modifications; the provisions of clause 186 are very similar to others that we have covered in great detail. For those reasons, I shall not move the amendment.

The amendment is not moved.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

I beg to move amendment 629, in clause 186, page 143, line 9, leave out “(urgent cases)”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 630.

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendment 630.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

The amendments will make it possible for an instrument that makes a major modification to a bulk personal dataset warrant, to add or vary an operational purpose, to be signed by a senior official as a provision for situations in which it is not reasonably practicable for the Secretary of State to sign it. The amendments are very similar to others we have made. Obviously the Secretary of State will make the decision, but in his or her absence an official will be authorised to sign the instrument. I therefore commend the amendment to the Committee.

Amendment 629 agreed to.

Amendment made: 630, in clause 186, page 143, line 10, leave out from beginning to “the” in line 15 and insert—

“( ) If it is not reasonably practicable for an instrument making a major modification to be signed by the Secretary of State, the instrument may be signed by a senior official designated by the Secretary of State for that purpose.

( ) In such a case, the instrument making the modification must contain a statement that—

(a) it is not reasonably practicable for the instrument to be signed by the Secretary of State, and

(b) ”.—

This amendment enables an instrument making a major modification of a warrant under Part 7 to be signed by a senior official in any case where it is not reasonably practicable for the Secretary of State to sign it.

Question put, That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 8, Noes 2.

Division number 101 Christmas Tree Industry — Modification of warrants

Aye: 8 MPs

No: 2 MPs

Aye: A-Z by last name

No: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly agreed to.

Clause 186, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 188