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10 January 2019

Government Announces Right To Appeal Investigatory Powers Tribunal Decisions

Judgments made by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal can now be appealed in certain circumstances, the Home Office has announced.

The Tribunal provides a route for redress for anyone who believes that they have been wrongly subjected to the use of covert investigative techniques by a public authority. It also hears human rights challenges brought against the security and intelligence agencies.

 The News Media Association campaigned for a right to appeal the Tribunal and emphasised in its consultation response the importance of the Tribunal having to explain any decision not to grant leave to appeal.

Following a consultation in late 2017, the rules of the Tribunal have been amended to state that applications for appeal can now be filed up to 21 days after the decision in question – or longer if there are special circumstances behind the delay.

Applications must both identify an error of law in the original decision and an important point of principle or practice or compelling reason for granting leave.

Most decisions on whether to grant leave to appeal will be made without a hearing, but the Tribunal will have to provide reasons when refusing applications.