Legislative Scrutiny: Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill



1 Introduction

Key human rights issues


Policy background

What is a CHIS?

Role of CHIS - importance and concerns

2 Overview of the Bill

3 Human rights implications of the Bill

Engagement of human rights

4 Limits on the criminal conduct that can be authorised

No express limit on type of crime that can be authorised

Approach taken in other jurisdictions

Power to prohibit certain conduct by order

The HRA as an effective safeguard

5 The scope of authorisations

Authorisation of criminal conduct “in relation to” a CHIS

No exclusion for children

‘Belief’ in necessity and proportionality

Authorising criminal conduct in the interests of “preventing disorder” or of the “economic well-being of the UK”

6 Public authorities granted power to authorise crime

Wide range of authorities who can authorise crime

Power to grant additional public authorities the power to authorise crime

7 Adequacy of oversight mechanisms

Internal oversight

Oversight by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner

Lack of prior independent scrutiny or approval for CCAs

8 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil liability

Immunity rather than prosecutorial discretion

Victims’ rights

Practical consequences for victims

Conclusions and recommendations

Annex: Proposed amendments

Declaration of Interests

Formal minutes

Published written evidence

List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

Published: 10 November 2020