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JUSTICE AND SECURITY ACT 2013

UK Public General Acts

Version 25/06/2013

2013 CHAPTER 18

Default Geographical Extent: E+W+S+N.I.


  • Part 1. Oversight of intelligence and security activities
    • Oversight by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament
    • Oversight by the Intelligence Services Commissioner
  • Part 2. Disclosure of sensitive material
    • Closed material procedure: general
    • Closed material procedure: immigration
    • Closed material procedure: employment
    • “Norwich Pharmacal” and similar jurisdictions
  • Part 3. General
  • Version 25/06/2013
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  • Version 25/04/2013

Introductory Text

Justice and Security Act 2013

2013 CHAPTER 18

An Act to provide for oversight of the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service, the Government Communications Headquarters and other activities relating to intelligence or security matters; to make provision about closed material procedure in relation to certain civil proceedings; to prevent the making of certain court orders for the disclosure of sensitive information; and for connected purposes.

[25th April 2013]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1
Oversight of intelligence and security activities



Oversight by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament


1 The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament

(1) There is to be a body known as the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (in this Part referred to as “the ISC”).

(2) The ISC is to consist of nine members who are to be drawn both from the members of the House of Commons and from the members of the House of Lords.

(3) Each member of the ISC is to be appointed by the House of Parliament from which the member is to be drawn.

(4) A person is not eligible to become a member of the ISC unless the person—

(a) is nominated for membership by the Prime Minister, and
(b) is not a Minister of the Crown.
(5) Before deciding whether to nominate a person for membership, the Prime Minister must consult the Leader of the Opposition.

(6) A member of the ISC is to be the Chair of the ISC chosen by its members.

(7) Schedule 1 (which makes further provision about the ISC) has effect.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I1 S. 1 in force at 25.6.2013 by S.I. 2013/1482, art. 2 (with arts. 3, 4)


2 Main functions of the ISC

(1) The ISC may examine or otherwise oversee the expenditure, administration, policy and operations of—

(a) the Security Service,
(b) the Secret Intelligence Service, and
(c) the Government Communications Headquarters.
(2) The ISC may examine or otherwise oversee such other activities of Her Majesty's Government in relation to intelligence or security matters as are set out in a memorandum of understanding.

(3) The ISC may, by virtue of subsection (1) or (2) , consider any particular operational matter but only so far as—

(a) the ISC and the Prime Minister are satisfied that the matter—
(i) is not part of any ongoing intelligence or security operation, and
(ii) is of significant national interest,
(b) the Prime Minister has asked the ISC to consider the matter, or
(c) the ISC's consideration of the matter is limited to the consideration of information provided voluntarily to the ISC (whether or not in response to a request by the ISC) by—
(i) the Security Service,
(ii) the Secret Intelligence Service,
(iii) the Government Communications Headquarters, or
(iv) a government department.
(4) The ISC's consideration of a particular operational matter under subsection (3) (a) or (b) must, in the opinion of the ISC and the Prime Minister, be consistent with any principles set out in, or other provision made by, a memorandum of understanding.

(5) A memorandum of understanding under this section—

(a) may include other provision about the ISC or its functions which is not of the kind envisaged in subsection (2) or (4) ,
(b) must be agreed between the Prime Minister and the ISC, and
(c) may be altered (or replaced with another memorandum) with the agreement of the Prime Minister and the ISC.
(6) The ISC must publish a memorandum of understanding under this section and lay a copy of it before Parliament.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I2 S. 2 in force at 25.6.2013 by S.I. 2013/1482, art. 2 (with arts. 3, 4)


3 Reports of the ISC

(1) The ISC must make an annual report to Parliament on the discharge of its functions.

(2) The ISC may make such other reports to Parliament as it considers appropriate concerning any aspect of its functions.

(3) Before making a report to Parliament, the ISC must send it to the Prime Minister.

(4) The ISC must exclude any matter from any report to Parliament if the Prime Minister, after consultation with the ISC, considers that the matter would be prejudicial to the continued discharge of the functions of the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service, the Government Communications Headquarters or any person carrying out activities falling within section 2(2).

(5) A report by the ISC to Parliament must contain a statement as to whether any matter has been excluded from the report by virtue of subsection (4).

(6) The ISC must lay before Parliament any report made by it to Parliament.

(7) The ISC may make a report to the Prime Minister in relation to matters which would be excluded by virtue of subsection (4) if the report were made to Parliament.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I3 S. 3 in force at 25.6.2013 by S.I. 2013/1482, art. 2 (with arts. 3, 4)


4 Sections 1 to 3 and Schedule 1: interpretation

In sections 1 to 3 and Schedule 1— “government department” means a department of Her Majesty's Government but does not include— (a) the Security Service, (b) the Secret Intelligence Service, or (c) the Government Communications Headquarters, “Her Majesty's forces” has the same meaning as in the Armed Forces Act 2006, “Her Majesty's Government” means Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, “Leader of the Opposition” has the same meaning as in the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975, “Minister of the Crown” has the same meaning as in the Ministers of the Crown Act 1975, “notice” means notice in writing.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I4 S. 4 in force at 25.6.2013 by S.I. 2013/1482, art. 2 (with arts. 3, 4)


Oversight by the Intelligence Services Commissioner


5 Additional review functions of the Commissioner

After section 59 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Intelligence Services Commissioner) insert—

“59A Additional functions of the Intelligence Services Commissioner
(1) So far as directed to do so by the Prime Minister and subject to subsection (2) , the Intelligence Services Commissioner must keep under review the carrying out of any aspect of the functions of—
(a) an intelligence service,
(b) a head of an intelligence service, or
(c) any part of Her Majesty's forces, or of the Ministry of Defence, so far as engaging in intelligence activities.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to anything which is required to be kept under review by the Interception of Communications Commissioner or under section 59.
(3) The Prime Minister may give a direction under this section at the request of the Intelligence Services Commissioner or otherwise.
(4) Directions under this section may, for example, include directions to the Intelligence Services Commissioner to keep under review the implementation or effectiveness of particular policies of the head of an intelligence service regarding the carrying out of any of the functions of the intelligence service.
(5) The Prime Minister must publish, in a manner which the Prime Minister considers appropriate, any direction under this section (and any revocation of such a direction) except so far as it appears to the Prime Minister that such publication would be contrary to the public interest or prejudicial to—
(a) national security,
(b) the prevention or detection of serious crime,
(c) the economic well-being of the United Kingdom, or
(d) the continued discharge of the functions of any public authority whose activities include activities that are subject to review by the Intelligence Services Commissioner.
(6) In this section “ head ”, in relation to an intelligence service, means—
(a) in relation to the Security Service, the Director-General,
(b) in relation to the Secret Intelligence Service, the Chief, and
(c) in relation to GCHQ , the Director.”
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I5 S. 5 in force at 25.6.2013 by S.I. 2013/1482, art. 2 (with arts. 3, 4)


Part 2
Disclosure of sensitive material



Closed material procedure: general


6 Declaration permitting closed material applications in proceedings

(1) The court seised of relevant civil proceedings may make a declaration that the proceedings are proceedings in which a closed material application may be made to the court.

(2) The court may make such a declaration—

(a) on the application of—
(i) the Secretary of State (whether or not the Secretary of State is a party to the proceedings) , or
(ii) any party to the proceedings, or
(b) of its own motion.
(3) The court may make such a declaration if it considers that the following two conditions are met.

(4) The first condition is that—

(a) a party to the proceedings would be required to disclose sensitive material in the course of the proceedings to another person (whether or not another party to the proceedings) , or
(b) a party to the proceedings would be required to make such a disclosure were it not for one or more of the following—
(i) the possibility of a claim for public interest immunity in relation to the material,
(ii) the fact that there would be no requirement to disclose if the party chose not to rely on the material,
(iii) section 17(1) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (exclusion for intercept material) ,
(iv) any other enactment that would prevent the party from disclosing the material but would not do so if the proceedings were proceedings in relation to which there was a declaration under this section.
(5) The second condition is that it is in the interests of the fair and effective administration of justice in the proceedings to make a declaration.

(6) The two conditions are met if the court considers that they are met in relation to any material that would be required to be disclosed in the course of the proceedings (and an application under subsection (2) (a) need not be based on all of the material that might meet the conditions or on material that the applicant would be required to disclose).

(7) The court must not consider an application by the Secretary of State under subsection (2) (a) unless it is satisfied that the Secretary of State has, before making the application, considered whether to make, or advise another person to make, a claim for public interest immunity in relation to the material on which the application is based.

(8) A declaration under this section must identify the party or parties to the proceedings who would be required to disclose the sensitive material (“a relevant person”).

(9) Rules of court may—

(a) provide for notification to the Secretary of State by a party to relevant civil proceedings, or by the court concerned, of proceedings to which a declaration under this section may be relevant,
(b) provide for a stay or sist of relevant civil proceedings (whether on an application by a party to the proceedings or by the court concerned of its own motion) where a person is considering whether to apply for a declaration under this section,
(c) provide for the Secretary of State, if not a party to proceedings in relation to which there is a declaration under this section or proceedings for or about such a declaration, to be joined as a party to the proceedings.
(10) Rules of court must make provision—

(a) requiring a person, before making an application under subsection (2) (a) , to give notice of the person's intention to make an application to every other person entitled to make such an application in relation to the relevant civil proceedings,
(b) requiring the applicant to inform every other such person of the outcome of the application.
(11) In this section— “closed material application” means an application of the kind mentioned in section 8(1) (a) , “relevant civil proceedings” means any proceedings (other than proceedings in a criminal cause or matter) before— (a) the High Court, (b) the Court of Appeal, (c) the Court of Session, or (d) the Supreme Court, “sensitive material” means material the disclosure of which would be damaging to the interests of national security.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I6 S. 6 in force at 25.6.2013 by S.I. 2013/1482, art. 2 (with arts. 3, 4)


7 Review and revocation of declaration under section 6

(1) This section applies where a court seised of relevant civil proceedings has made a declaration under section 6.

(2) The court must keep the declaration under review, and may at any time revoke it if it considers that the declaration is no longer in the interests of the fair and effective administration of justice in the proceedings.

(3) The court must undertake a formal review of the declaration once the pre-trial disclosure exercise in the proceedings has been completed, and must revoke it if it considers that the declaration is no longer in the interests of the fair and effective administration of justice in the proceedings.

(4) The court may revoke a declaration under subsection (2) or (3) —

(a) on the application of—
(i) the Secretary of State (whether or not the Secretary of State is a party to the proceedings) , or
(ii) any party to the proceedings, or
(b) of its own motion.
(5) In deciding for the purposes of subsection (2) or (3) whether a declaration continues to be in the interests of the fair and effective administration of justice in the proceedings, the court must consider all of the material that has been put before it in the course of the proceedings (and not just the material on which the decision to make the declaration was based).

(6) Rules of court must make provision—

(a) as to how a formal review is to be conducted under subsection (3) ,
(b) as to when the pre-trial disclosure exercise is to be considered to have been completed for the purposes of subsection (3).
(7) In relation to proceedings before the Court of Session—

(a) the reference in subsection (3) to the completion of the pre-trial disclosure exercise is a reference to the fixing of a hearing to determine the merits of the proceedings, and
(b) the reference in subsection (6) (b) to when the pre-trial disclosure exercise is to be considered to have been completed is a reference to what constitutes a hearing to determine the merits of the proceedings.
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I7 S. 7 in force at 25.6.2013 by S.I. 2013/1482, art. 2 (with arts. 3, 4)


8 Determination by court of applications in section 6 proceedings

(1) Rules of court relating to any relevant civil proceedings in relation to which there is a declaration under section 6 (“section 6 proceedings”) must secure—

(a) that a relevant person has the opportunity to make an application to the court for permission not to disclose material otherwise than to—
(i) the court,
(ii) any person appointed as a special advocate, and
(iii) where the Secretary of State is not the relevant person but is a party to the proceedings, the Secretary of State,
(b) that such an application is always considered in the absence of every other party to the proceedings (and every other party's legal representative) ,
(c) that the court is required to give permission for material not to be disclosed if it considers that the disclosure of the material would be damaging to the interests of national security,
(d) that, if permission is given by the court not to disclose material, it must consider requiring the relevant person to provide a summary of the material to every other party to the proceedings (and every other party's legal representative) ,
(e) that the court is required to ensure that such a summary does not contain material the disclosure of which would be damaging to the interests of national security.
(2) Rules of court relating to section 6 proceedings must secure that provision to the effect mentioned in subsection (3) applies in cases where a relevant person—

(a) does not receive the permission of the court to withhold material, but elects not to disclose it, or
(b) is required to provide another party to the proceedings with a summary of material that is withheld, but elects not to provide the summary.
(3) The court must be authorised—

(a) if it considers that the material or anything that is required to be summarised might adversely affect the relevant person's case or support the case of another party to the proceedings, to direct that the relevant person—
(i) is not to rely on such points in that person's case, or
(ii) is to make such concessions or take such other steps as the court may specify, or
(b) in any other case, to ensure that the relevant person does not rely on the material or (as the case may be) on that which is required to be summarised.
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I8 S. 8 in force at 25.6.2013 by S.I. 2013/1482, art. 2 (with arts. 3, 4)


9 Appointment of special advocate

(1) The appropriate law officer may appoint a person to represent the interests of a party in any section 6 proceedings from which the party (and any legal representative of the party) is excluded.

(2) A person appointed under subsection (1) is referred to in this section as appointed as a “special advocate”.

(3) The “appropriate law officer” is—

(a) in relation to proceedings in England and Wales, the Attorney General,
(b) in relation to proceedings in Scotland, the Advocate General for Scotland, and
(c) in relation to proceedings in Northern Ireland, the Advocate General for Northern Ireland.
(4) A person appointed as a special advocate is not responsible to the party to the proceedings whose interests the person is appointed to represent.

(5) A person may be appointed as a special advocate only if—

(a) in the case of an appointment by the Attorney General, the person has a general qualification for the purposes of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990,
(b) in the case of an appointment by the Advocate General for Scotland, the person is an advocate or a solicitor who has rights of audience in the Court of Session or the High Court of Justiciary by virtue of section 25A of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980, and
(c) in the case of an appointment by the Advocate General for Northern Ireland, the person is a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland.
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I9 S. 9 in force at 25.6.2013 by S.I. 2013/1482, art. 2 (with arts. 3, 4)