Q&As

Does the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 apply to civil and family law proceedings and to what extent can a local authority use surveillance for the purposes of civil or family law proceedings?

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Published on LexisPSL on 25/08/2017

The following Local Government Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Does the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 apply to civil and family law proceedings and to what extent can a local authority use surveillance for the purposes of civil or family law proceedings?
  • Surveillance powers available to councils under RIPA

Please note that the extent to which any powers of the local authority under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA 2000) may apply to civil or family proceedings is likely to depend upon the specific type of proceedings; the specific function being exercised by the local authority in relation to them; and the type of activity which is proposed. We have set out below some general guidance on RIPA powers as may be used by a local authority.

The right to respect for private and family life is governed by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), contained in the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998), and it is therefore unlawful for a public authority to act in a way that is not compatible with any convention rights. However, there are certain exemptions under RIPA 2000, which allows public bodies to in

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