The Ouster of Parliamentary Sovereignty?

12 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2020 Last revised: 22 Feb 2021

See all articles by Benjamin Joshua Ong

Benjamin Joshua Ong

Singapore Management University - School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2020


In R (on the application of Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2019] UKSC 22; [2019] 2 WLR 1219, the claimant sought judicial review of a decision of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) on the ground that the IPT had committed an error of law. But there was a preliminary stumbling block in the form of s 67(8) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. By a majority, the Supreme Court held that this provision did not oust the power of judicial review of the IPT’s decisions on the ground of error of law. This note makes two points. First, the majority’s conclusion was right and the minority’s was not. Secondly, the decision of one of the majority judges, Lord Carnwath (with whom Lady Hale and Lord Kerr agreed), made several revolutionary remarks about ouster clauses generally that have attenuated the principle of parliamentary sovereignty.

Keywords: Ouster Clauses, Privacy International, Privative Clauses, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, Investigatory Powers Tribunal

Suggested Citation

Ong, Benjamin Joshua, The Ouster of Parliamentary Sovereignty? (January 1, 2020). [2020] Public Law 41, Singapore Management University School of Law Research Paper No. 24/2020, Available at SSRN: or

Benjamin Joshua Ong (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - School of Law ( email )

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Singapore, 179943

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