CAJ welcomes the opportunity to provide Written Evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill. The bill provides a new framework for the use of investigatory powers, with a focus on surveillance. Outside of the issues with the current bill CAJ wishes to draw attention to other areas of covert policing where there is currently inadequate regulation under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), namely regulation of the permitted behaviour of informants (Covert Human Intelligence Sources- CHIS) and undercover officers.
The purpose of our submission is to seek to promote debate around the potential to legislate in this area to remedy deficiencies in RIPA and implement unmet commitments in the Northern Ireland peace settlement. These issues are found in outstanding recommendations from the Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland (the Patten Report), the Police Ombudsman’s Operation Ballast Report and the Desmond de Silva Review into the death of Pat Finucane.