IPCO Announcements

  • Review of Consolidated Guidance

    The Prime Minister has today published The Principles relating to the detention and interviewing of detainees overseas and the passing and receipt of intelligence relating to detainees. The Written Ministerial Statement is available here.

     

    Sir Adrian Fulford has said:

    “I am very pleased that the Prime Minister has today published The Principles relating to the detention and interviewing of detainees overseas and the passing and receipt of intelligence relating to detainees (‘The Principles’).  This document will replace the Consolidated Guidance with effect from 1 January 2020. 

     

    The Principles have been developed following the consultation exercise that I conducted last year after the Prime Minister requested that I make proposals as to how the Consolidated Guidance could be improved.  The main themes from the consultation and the reasons for my proposals are set out in my letter to the Prime Minister of 12 June 2019.  It is worth, however, highlighting some of the changes in the new document:

     

     

    ·         the Principles are now engaged when there is a risk of extraordinary rendition, rendition or unlawful killing occurring in a detention context;

    ·         the threshold of risk for the future should be one of ‘real risk’ rather than ‘serious risk’ of the specified harm occurring.  This is the test which is generally applied in equivalent contexts and, in my view, ensures that the document aligns with international law;

    ·         the Principles now explicitly engage when UK personnel abroad are working with non-state actors or groups.  There may be reasons why it is difficult for all aspects of the Principles fully to be applied, but it is important that they are followed insofar as is possible;

    ·         the new document introduces a formal error reporting obligation on public authorities.  This will formalise existing arrangements and brings IPCO’s oversight of this work into line with other similar areas; and

    ·         the new document introduces a formal whistleblowing provision, in line with my statutory responsibilities in the Investigatory Powers Act. 

     

    Overall, my proposals are intended to remove uncertainty and avoidable ambiguity, making it easier for operatives in the field to understand when the Principles should be applied.  I am confident that this will ensure that the current high standard of compliance will continue and I will report, as before, on the operation of the Principles in future Annual Reports.  I am grateful to everyone who has assisted with this process.”

     

    Click here to find the responses to our consultation.