URGENT – CHANGES TO RIPA
With only a couple of weeks to go before the introduction of Judicial supervision of Local Authority RIPA applications, the Court Service have issued guidance as to the required process.
(1) The first stages are as normal : you process the application in the same way that you do currently, getting the decision from one of your Authority’s named authorising officers.
(2) You complete the Court Service form.
(3) You contact the court for a hearing date and send the form and the authorised application to the Court Officer (this will normally be by email).
(4) An officer who is authorised to appear for the Authority attends the hearing to confirm the truth of the application and to answer any questions the Magistrate might have.
(5) A decision is given.
Things you need to do right now :
(1) Familiarise yourself with the form.
(2) Make sure that you have contact details for the court (including out-of-hours details for emergency applications).
(3) Ensure that sufficient investigators have been authorised to appear for the Authority under s.223 of the LGA 1972 to appear in Magistrates’ Court on behalf of the Authority. (The guidance expects investigators, not lawyers, to appear for these applications.)
(4) Update your policies now.
If you’d like some training, the ITS course details are here : http://www.its-training-uk.com/InformationSheets/RIPA2012.pdf
P.S. : Our colleagues in Scotland do not need Judicial approval for surveillance ; the guidance for Comms Data is here : http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/counter-terrorism/ripa-forms/local-authority-ripa-guidance/local-authority-scotland?view=Binary