Modification of warrants issued by the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 1:00 pm ar 21 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office) 1:00, 21 Ebrill 2016

The amendment relates to modification provisions similar to those in clause 30, which we discussed at some length last week. I will not go over the territory again, but all the arguments I made in relation to modifications under clause 30 apply equally to modifications under clause 105 and I will not take time by going through all the similar points. It is worth observing, however, that clause 104(2) lists in paragraph (a) to (f),

‘“The only modifications which may be made under this section”,

which cover practically all the matters that appear on the requirements of warrants, so it is an interesting use of the word “only”.

There is a substantive issue on which I would like an answer. When we were debating clause 30, I made the point that the test for a modification set out in clause 30(9) is a test of necessity and proportionality that only applies to major modifications, not minor ones. We have dealt with that and I will not go over it again, but it seems to me that the test for a major modification is, quite sensibly, whether it is necessary and whether the conduct authorised by it is proportionate. I was expecting to see in clause 104(4) a version of clause 30(9) and I did not. Perhaps the Solicitor General will explain why.