Welcome to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal website.
The Tribunal is a court which investigates and determines complaints which allege that public authorities or law enforcement agencies have unlawfully used covert techniques and infringed our right to privacy, as well as claims against the security and intelligence agencies for conduct which breaches a wider range of our human rights.
More than that, we are at the forefront of our field, operating the most open and equitable process in the world for hearing cases of this sensitivity. We are the first court of our kind to establish 'inter partes' hearings in open court in the security field. These hearings allow us to hear arguments on both sides on the basis of 'assumed facts' without risk to our national security. This means that where there is a substantial issue of law to consider, and without at that stage taking a decision as to whether the allegation in a complaint is true, we invite the parties involved to present issues of law for the Tribunal to decide, which are based on the assumption that the facts alleged in the complaint are true.
This means that we have been able to hold hearings in public, including full adversarial argument, as to whether the conduct alleged, if it had occurred, would have been lawful. We may then hold 'closed' hearings in private to apply the legal conclusions from the open hearings to the facts.
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