Human rights and the regulation of investigatory powers act

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The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 - RIPA

RIPA regulates the way in which investigations are carried out by public bodies.

It updates the law on the interception of communications to take account of technological change such as the growth of the Internet. RIPA also puts other intrusive investigative techniques on a statutory footing for the very first time and provides new powers to help combat the threat posed by rising criminal use of strong encryption and ensures that there is independent judicial oversight in the powers of the Act.

RIPA is consistent with the Human Rights Act 1998 and creates a system of safeguards to ensure compliance with the requirements of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. There are five parts of the Act:

  • Part I relates to the interception of communications and the acquisition and disclosure of communications

  • Part II relates to the use of covert surveillance, agents, informants and undercover officers.

  • Part III covers the investigation of electronic data protection by encryption.

  • Part IV provides for independent judicial oversight of the powers in the Act.

  • Part V covers miscellaneous and supplemental matters such as consequential amendments, repeals and interpretation.

The use of RIPA must also be documented and authorised by an authorising officer and a magistrate and use of the powers are reported to the Audit Committee.


Senior responsible officer

RIPA coordinator

The designated Senior Responsible Officer/RIPA Coordinator for Tewkesbury Borough Council under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 can be contacted at:

One Legal,
Tewkesbury Borough Council,
Public Services Centre,
Gloucester Road,
Tewkesbury. GL20 5TT.

Complaints relating to the use of RIPA

The 2000 Act established an independent tribunal to investigate complaints. Information about the complaints procedure is obtainable from:

  • Address: Investigatory Powers Tribunal, PO Box 33220, London. SW1H 9ZQ.

  • Telephone: 020 7035 3711