Judgments Contacting us

Welcome to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal website

The Tribunal is a judicial body which operates independently of government to provide a right of redress for anyone who believes they have been a victim of unlawful action by a public authority using covert investigative techniques. The Tribunal is also the appropriate forum to consider complaints about any conduct by or on behalf of the UK Intelligence Community, MI5, SIS and GCHQ, as well as claims alleging the infringement of human rights by those agencies. The Tribunal has a UK wide jurisdiction and there are no costs associated with making a complaint to the Tribunal.

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 strengthened the provisions governing the Tribunal by providing a new right of appeal from decisions and determinations of the Tribunal in circumstances where there is a point of law that raises an important point of principle or practice, or where there is some other compelling reason for allowing an appeal.

As the remit of the Tribunal is to deal with covert techniques and matters of national security, complainants are not required to provide evidence to support their complaint or Human Rights Act Claim. Instead they are asked to specify what activity they know or believe has taken place. The Tribunal is under a duty both to investigate and to determine valid complaints and public authorities are under a duty to provide the Tribunal with all documents and information the Tribunal may require to assist in that investigation. Nothing can be held back from the Tribunal for reasons of secrecy or national security. To counter this, and to protect sensitive information, the Tribunal may not disclose to the complainant anything which might compromise national security or the prevention and detection of serious crime, the economic well-being of the United Kingdom or the continued discharge of the functions of any of the intelligence services. However, wherever possible, and subject to this limitation, the Tribunal will provide findings of fact or a summary of the determination.

On this website you can find further information about:

  • How you can make a complaint to the Tribunal;
  • The key legislation that governs how the Tribunal works as well as its rules of procedure;
  • How you can appeal a decision or determination of the Tribunal;
  • Who we are


  • Third Direction Judgment

    19 Dec 19

    The judgment will be handed down in the case of Privacy International and Ors v MI5 and Ors (MI5 Agent Participation in Criminality) in Court 76 of the Royal Courts of Justice on 20 December 2019 at 10.00am.

  • Third Direction Hearing

    31 Oct 19

    A hearing will be taking place between (1) Privacy International (2) Reprieve (3) Committee on the Administration of Justice (4) Pat Finuance Centre 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 Court 28 of the Royal Courts of Justice starting on 5 November 2019 at 10.30am.

  • The Hon Sir Michael Burton

    18 Jun 19

    All of us at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to the Tribunal’s former President, The Hon Sir Michael Burton, who has been awarded a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) for services to the rule of law and the pivotal role he played in oversight of the intelligence services during his time in the IPT. This honour is truly well deserved.