Skip to main content

Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers bill publishes call for evidence

The new Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill has today published its Call for Evidence.

The Committee is inviting written evidence to be received by 21 December. The Committee is working to a tight deadline and will report in February 2016.

The Draft Investigatory Powers Bill would provide a framework for the use of investigatory powers by law enforcement and security and intelligence agencies, as well as other public authorities. The draft Bill includes provisions for the interception of communications, the retention and acquisition of communications data, the use of equipment interference, and the acquisition of bulk data for analysis. It will repeal and replace the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA), which expires at the end of next year. It will also repeal and replace part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).

Lord Murphy of Torfaen, Chairman of the new Joint Committee, said:

“This is an extremely important draft Bill, and the necessity of ensuring that our security services and law enforcement agencies have appropriate tools to combat terrorism and serious crime has never been more apparent. This Committee will be examining whether the draft Bill provides for the correct powers and whether a compelling operational case can be made for all those powers. It will also scrutinise the proposed authorisation and oversight regimes to ensure that these powers will be properly used.

The Committee's conclusions will be dependent on the quality of evidence it receives, so it would very much like to hear from anyone with an interest in these areas.”

Some of the questions the Committee are inviting evidence on include:

  • To what extent is it necessary for the security and intelligence services and law enforcement to have access to investigatory powers such as those contained in the draft Bill?
  • Are there sufficient operational justifications for undertaking targeted and bulk interception, and are the proposed authorisation processes for such interception activities appropriate and workable?
  • Are the definitions of content and communications data, including the distinction between ‘entities' and ‘events', sufficiently clear and practical for the purposes of accessing such data?
  • Is accessing Internet Connection Records essential for the purposes of IP resolution and identifying persons of interest, or are there alternative mechanisms?
  • Should the security and intelligence services have access to powers to undertake targeted and bulk equipment interference? Should law enforcement also have access to such powers?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed creation of a single Judicial Commission to oversee investigatory powers, and would it have the sufficient powers, resources and independence to perform its role satisfactorily?

The first evidence sessions of the Committee's inquiry will be held next week, on Monday 30 November and Wednesday 2 December in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

Giving evidence on Monday 30 November will be:


  • Home Office and Foreign Office officials


  • Simon York, Director of the Fraud Investigatory Service
  • Keith Bristow, Director General, National Crime Agency
  • Chris Farrimond, Deputy Director Intelligence Collection, National Crime Agency
  • Richard Berry, Assistant Chief Constable, National Police Chiefs' Council

Then, on Wednesday 2 December, the Committee will hear from:


  • Sir Mark Waller, Intelligence Services Commissioner


  • Lord Judge, Chief Surveillance Commissioner
  • Clare Ringshaw-Dowle, Chief Surveillance Inspector
  • Sir Stanley Burnton, Interception of Communications Commissioner
  • Jo Cavan, Head of the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office


  • David Anderson QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation
  • Prof Michael Clarke, Retiring Director of the Royal United Services Institute

Latest tweets


Subscribe to Lords newsletter

Sign up for the House of Lords newsletter for the latest news, debates and business