Committee Updates April 2015

Interception of Communications – Draft Code of Practice

We responded to the above Home Office consultation on draft codes of practice for the interception of communications.  We welcome the introduction of a code of practice and enhanced safeguards.  In our response we note that confidentiality is central to the rule of law, and those seeking legal advice should be assured and have confidence in their legal adviser and that any communications between the two parties remain strictly confidential.  This protection of legal privilege underpins the provision of legal advice.  Currently the Secretary of State can issue a warrant for intercepting communications, without any judicial oversight – it is essential that there should be an application to a court for such a warrant to be issued.  In our response we also highlight that there could be considerable implications in terms of ECHR, as articles 6 and 8 will be engaged if lawyer/client communications are intercepted. 

The full response can be found on our website