Investigatory Powers Tribunal

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Investigatory Powers Tribunal
  • What does the Investigatory Powers Tribunal investigate?
  • Complaints procedure of the IPT
  • Decisions which the IPT can make
  • Remedial steps which the IPT can take
  • Appeal from the IPT
  • Examples of findings of the IPT

Investigatory Powers Tribunal

For information on the overarching regime for scrunity of the use of powers under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA 2016), see Practice Note: Scrutiny of intelligence gathering and the role of commissioners under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

What does the Investigatory Powers Tribunal investigate?

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) has jurisdiction to consider and determine complaints in relation to the conduct and use of covert surveillance by public authorities including UK intelligence agencies. Section 65(5) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA 2000), as amended by IPA 2016 contains a detailed list of what constitutes ‘conduct’ for the purposes of the jurisdiction of the IPT. Broadly speaking, ‘conduct’ includes a public authority exercising covert surveillance powers under IPA 2016 or RIPA 2000, and any conduct by or on behalf of the intelligence services.

For example, the IPT investigates complaints about the conduct by or on behalf of the police, Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). It is the only tribunal against which complaints about the intelligence services can be directed.

For the complete list of complaints which the IPT may hear include see RIPA 2000, s 65(5). Some of the complaints which the IPT may hear include:

  1. actions by the intelligence services

  2. actions relating to conduct in connection with the interception of communications in the

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