Offence of unlawful interception

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:15 am ar 12 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Justice and Home Affairs) 10:15, 12 Ebrill 2016

I will deal with new clause 3 in fairly short compass. The amendment was suggested to me by the Scottish division of Pen International, which is a world association of writers. It would introduce a tort, or a delict as we call it in Scotland, for unlawful interception. Such a tort or delict exists already as a result of section 1(3) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and I am not entirely sure why it has not been replicated in the Bill. I would be interested to hear from the Solicitor General or the Minister for Security why the Government did not include the measure in the Bill, and whether they will give it serious consideration. It would give a meaningful avenue of recourse and act as a motivation to intelligence agencies, police forces and the Government to ensure that all interception is lawfully authorised, on pain of an action for damages if it is not properly authorised. It is really a very simple new clause modelled on section 1(3) of RIPA. I am interested to hear what the Government have to say about this suggestion.