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Oslo Agreements: Human Rights Clauses

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Chesham: Article XIX of the Interim Agreement commits Israel and the Palestinian Council to exercise their powers and responsibilities "....with due regard to internationally-accepted norms and principles of human rights and the rule of law". A number of aspects of human rights practice of both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities continue to cause us concern, and we raise specific issues regularly with both.

EU/Israel Association Agreement

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Chesham: The EU/Israel Association Agreement (and the EC/Israel Interim Agreement which is already in force) refer to neither the Oslo Agreements nor the 4th Geneva Convention. We continue to urge both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to honour the agreements between them, and we regard any breaches

21 Mar 1997 : Column WA130

of international law such as the 4th Geneva Convention in a serious light. Suspension of the EU/Israel Association Agreement when it has entered into force would have to be decided collectively by EU member states.

Listening Devices

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there are any listening devices currently in use or planned to be in use by the Police Service or the Security and Intelligence Services which fall outside the definition of "interference with wireless telegraphy" in the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949; and, if so, what is the nature of such devices.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): It has been the policy of successive Governments not to comment on the methods or equipment used by the intelligence and security agencies.

The Government do not consider that it would be appropriate to give details of sensitive police techniques.

Police Interception of Electronic Communications

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Police Service intercept (1) electronic e-mail communications via a domestic e-mail provider; (2) electronic e-mail communications via a non-domestic e-mail provider but passing through the United Kingdom; or (3) any parts of such communications; and, if so, what is the statutory or other legal authority for such interceptions.

Baroness Blatch: Communications in the course of their transmission on a public telecommunications network may be intercepted in pursuance of a warrant issued under the Interception of Communications Act 1985. This applies equally to voice and data transmission.

It would be an operational matter for the police whether, within the statutory provisions these techniques are used.



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