Extra-territorial application of Part 3

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:15 pm ar 19 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Justice and Home Affairs) 2:15, 19 Ebrill 2016

I oppose the clause. I hear what the Minister has to say, but I am not reassured by the Government’s approach. Harking back to something I said last week, I do not think that the Government have got the balance right, because in seeking to gather to themselves an extraterritorial application through United Kingdom law, there are hidden dangers.

If international companies are required to arbitrate between conflicting legal systems, it is leaving the protection of human rights to the good will and judgment of those companies. Companies such as the ones the hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras mentioned have already expressed concerns to David Anderson, for his report “A Question of Trust”, that

“unqualified cooperation with the British government would lead to expectations of similar cooperation with authoritarian governments, which would not be in their customers’, their own corporate or democratic governments’ interests.”

In my view, the most appropriate way forward is to pursue the route, which I am pleased the Minister has assured us that the Government are well down, of mutual legal assistance agreements with other states. If we do not pursue that route in the way that both David Anderson and Sir Nigel Sheinwald recommended with appropriate alacrity, and instead rely simply on clauses such as this one, which are spread throughout the Bill, we will create real difficulty for corporate entities. We will also create difficulties for the international enforcement of human rights, which I consider a bit more important than difficulties for corporate entities, although we should not set the latter to one side, because they are significant. For that reason, notwithstanding the Minister’s assurances, the SNP opposes clause stand part.