Investigatory Powers Commissioner

Home Office written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 to allow the Home Secretary to vary the time allowed for urgent warrants to be reviewed at the request of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, how many times have those powers been used since the 2020 Act came into force.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Minister of State, Home Department

It was important to ensure that urgent warrants – which are used in the most pressing of circumstances – did not fall away due to a lack of available Judicial Commissioners. While the appointment of temporary Judicial Commissioners went a long way to make this scenario less likely, it could not mitigate every situation whereby Covid-19 may delay Judicial Commissioner approval.

We expect IPCO to publish full statistics on the use of the amended urgent warrant procedure in their 2020 Annual Report.

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