“The wrong approach to human rights?
The Act has been criticised by a number of individuals and organisations including the chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC. Ms Doerries QC has argued that the Act risks compromising the privacy of communications between lawyers and their clients. These communications are protected by ‘legal professional privilege’. According to the President of the Law Society, the representative body for solicitors in England and Wales, it is “fundamental to our justice system.” The Law Society states that this privilege “recognises the client’s fundamental human right to be candid with his legal adviser, without fear of later disclosure to his prejudice.”
Human Rights group Liberty has also criticised the Act, arguing that it “makes us all less safe, and less free.” It raised particular concerns that a citizen does not need to be reasonably suspected of wrongdoing to fall within the remit of the data retention powers. It also drew attention to the variety of government departments who will have access to personal information.
Jim Killock, Director of the Open Rights Group, raised concerns regarding the sharing of intelligence between GCHQ and the American National Security Agency, describing the data sharing as “near-complete”.
A petition for the repeal of the Act has now amassed more than 100,000 signatures, and therefore must be considered for parliamentary debate. Liberty have promised to “see the government in Court.” It seems that the saga is set to continue.”
The Investigatory Powers Act 2016
The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is set to become law in the United Kingdom following its passing of the third stage of legislative scrutiny earlier this month. The Act seeks to consolidate and amend the legislative framework which governs the use of investigatory powers, including the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). It is expected to receive royal assent by the end of 2016.
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