Failure to approve warrant issued in urgent case

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 5:45 pm 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) 5:45, 12 Ebrill 2016

I will keep this fairly brief. The amendment would require a judicial commissioner to order that material collated under an urgent warrant that he does not authorise subsequently be destroyed, except in exceptional circumstances. As the Bill stands, should material be obtained under an urgent warrant that is later unapproved by the judicial commissioner, the judicial commissioner may, but is not required to, order destruction of material obtained. Once again, it is my argument that the provision, as it stands, creates a significant loophole that could be used to bypass the legal protections that purport to be provided by the judicial review mechanism.

An urgent warrant allows the relevant agency to access material that it may not be authorised to access in law. Permitting the retention of that material in anything other than exceptional circumstances creates a clear incentive to use the urgent process in inappropriate cases so, in order to ensure that the applying agencies—the agencies that apply for warrants—only use the urgent process where strictly necessary, the Bill needs to ensure that there are no advantages to be gained from seeking an urgent warrant where it is not strictly necessary. The amendment would ensure that where a judicial commissioner does not authorise the use of the warrant retrospectively, the position must be that the material collected is destroyed, except in exceptional circumstances.