The Investigatory Powers Act 2016—an introductory guide
Produced in partnership with Eric Metcalf of Monckton Chambers and Carolina Bracken of 5 Paper Buildings
The Investigatory Powers Act 2016—an introductory guide

The following Corporate Crime practice note Produced in partnership with Eric Metcalf of Monckton Chambers and Carolina Bracken of 5 Paper Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Investigatory Powers Act 2016—an introductory guide
  • Previous statutory framework for investigatory powers
  • Review of the statutory framework
  • The draft Bill—as published November 2015
  • The Joint Select Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill Report—February 2016
  • The Investigatory Powers Bill—as introduced March 2016
  • The IPA 2016—as enacted November 2016
  • Key points

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA 2016) received Royal Assent on 29 November 2016 and overhauled the legal framework governing the use of covert surveillance by public bodies, a framework which was largely, but not exclusively, regulated by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA 2000).

The timing of IPA 2016 receiving Royal Assent is significant. The government needed legislation to replace sections 1 and 2 of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA 2014), which were subject to a sunset clause and were repealed on 31 December 2016.

The IPA 2016 was brought into force incrementally between 2016 and 2020 with almost all provisions now in force.

This Practice Note considers:

  1. the scope and content of IPA 2016

  2. the pre-existing statutory framework governing the use of investigatory powers by public bodies, including law enforcement and intelligence agencies

  3. the various reviews of the existing statutory framework carried out in 2015 and other key developments that led the government to publish the draft Bill

  4. the key measures contained in IPA 2016, including new powers for the collection of bulk communications data, bulk personal datasets, and equipment interference

  5. the key findings of the Joint Select Committee on the draft Investigatory Powers Bill

  6. the European legal context, including pending challenges to the existing statutory framework before the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg and

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