Legal Regulation of Intelligence Services in the United Kingdom
Simon Mckay and Clive Walker, 'Legal Regulation of Intelligence Services in the United Kingdom' in Jan-Hendrick Dietrich and Sven-R. Eiffler, Handbuch Des Rechtsgrundlagen Der Nachrichtendienste (Richard Boorberg, Stuttgart, 2017) pp.1855-1933
88 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2017
Date Written: January 1, 2017
The purpose of this paper is to analyse critically the legal regulation of the intelligence services in the United Kingdom. Given that the said services have existed for many decades and enjoy a rich history which includes responses to colonial conflicts, the breakup of Ireland and continuing political violence in Northern Ireland, two World Wars and the Cold War, and contemporary terrorism, all alongside incursions from inquisitive or hostile foreign states, our task is impossible to achieve in depth. Therefore, our plan is as follows. In this introductory part, the three main intelligence institutions and their current statutory frameworks will be delineated. The second section of the paper will examine the functions of the intelligence services. The third, and most complex, part of the paper will consider their powers. The fourth part will deal with potential liabilities, both criminal and civil. The fifth part will consider the mechanisms for oversight. The conclusions in the sixth part will take stock and consider challenges and proposals for reform.
Keywords: intelligence, national security, surveillance, accountability, judicial review, espionage
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K19, K30, K33, K42, N40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation