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 guidance 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 European dimension

STOP PRESS: On 29 July 2019, the High Court published its decision in R (on the application of National Council for Civil Liberties (Liberty)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (National Union of Journalists intervening), in which it concluded that the bulk powers provided for under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 were compatible with human rights. The judgment follows that given in 2018, in R (on the Application of The National Council for Civil Liberties (Liberty)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, concerning the provisions relating to the retention of communications data and Big Brother Watch v United Kingdom, concerning the preceding legislation. This Practice Note is being updated in light of the judgment.

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA 2016) received Royal Assent on 29 November 2016 and overhauls the legal framework governing the use of covert surveillance by public bodies, a framework which was largely, but not exclusively, set out 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2 of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA 2014), which were subject to a sunset clause and were repealed on 31 December 2016.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 majority of IPA 2016 is now in force although there are a