Judgments Contacting us

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.

Updated Jurisdiction for the IPT

Through Statutory Instrument 2018 No 341, the jurisdiction of the Tribunal has been updated with effect from 12 March 2018 to include complaints in relation to:

  • the giving and varying of a national security notice as well as conduct under a notice
  • the giving and varying of a technical capability notice as well as conduct under a notice

A national security notice is a notice given by the Secretary of State under section 252 of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 requiring a telecommunications operator in the United Kingdom to take such specified steps as the Secretary of State considers necessary in the interests of national security.

A technical capability notice is a notice given by the Secretary of State under section 253 of the Investigatory Powers 2016 imposing obligations on a postal or telecommunications operator for the purpose of securing that the operator is able to provide assistance in relation to certain warrants and authorisations under the 2016 Act.

The full statutory Instrument can be found at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/341/made

Announcements

  • 12 & 13 March 2018: Bulk Data Hearing

    6 Mar 18

    A further two day hearing will be taking place between Privacy International v (1) Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2) Secretary for the Home Department (3) Government Communication Headquarters (4) Security Service (5) Secret Inteliigence Service in Court 73 of the Royal Courts of Justice at 11am.

  • Bulk Data Hearing

    22 Feb 18

    A further hearing will be taking place between Privacy International v (1) Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2) Secretary of State for the Home Department (3) Government Communications Headquarters (4) Security Service  (5) Secret Intelligence Service in The Royal Courts of Justice in Court 28, not before 15:30.

  • Bulk Data Hearing

    28 Nov 17

    A further hearing will take place on 1 December 17 in the Employment Appeals Tribunal Court 5 fixed for 11.00am The hearing is to consider the Claimant’s application to re-open the October 2016 judgment (in relation to oversight by the Commissioners) and the Respondents’ application to rely on further evidence.