Do not pass the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Criminal Conduct Bill

Prevent the Criminal Conduct Bill from being passed.

10,933 Signatures

Status: Open
Opened: 13 Oct 2020, 1:11 p.m.
Last 24 hours signatures : 3
Estimated Final Signatures: 14,542

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
Recent Documents related to Do not pass the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Criminal Conduct Bill

1. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages
22/10/2020 - Bill Documents

Found: purvism@parliament.uk . Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill HL Bill 144 of 2019

2. Covert human intelligence sources: draft code of practice
24/09/2020 - Home Office
- View source

Found: Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) are

3. Covert human intelligence sources: draft code of practice
24/09/2020 - Home Office
- View source

Found: Covert Human Intelligence Sources Draft Revised Code of Practice September 2020 2 © Crown copyright

4. Briefing paper on Lords amendments
19/02/2021 - Bill Documents

Found: Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill 2019 -2021 The Covert Human Intelligence Sources

5. Covert human intelligence sources: draft code of practice
24/09/2020 - Home Office
- View source

Found: Guidance Covert human intelligence sources: draft code of practice Factsheet

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Do not pass the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Criminal Conduct Bill

1. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
11/11/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: piece of legislation; it will ensure that our intelligence agencies, law enforcement bodies and those public - Speech Link

2. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
15/10/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: than conduct authorised under section 29B)’; and(b) after ‘Part’ insert ‘(other than conduct authorised - Speech Link
2: at end insert—“(1A) The granting of criminal conduct authorisations under subsection (1) may not - Speech Link

3. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
27/01/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: to utilise the tools needed to keep us safe and prevent crime. It also rightly provides assurance to the - Speech Link
2: authorisation for the general use and conduct of a covert human intelligence source is necessary and proportionate - Speech Link
3: places express limits on the conduct that can be authorised under the Bill. This House has already discussed - Speech Link

4. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
24/02/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: important Bill before it receives Royal Assent and becomes law.The Government introduced the Bill in - Speech Link
2: the conduct authorised under the Bill does not affect a person’s ability to access the criminal injuries - Speech Link

5. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
05/10/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: public authorities have access to the tools and intelligence that they need to keep us safe—safe from terrorists - Speech Link
2: concerns that the Bill, as it stands, does not have the safeguards in place to prevent assault, murder - Speech Link

6. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
21/01/2021 - Lords Chamber

1: documents: 10th Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, 19th Report from the Constitution Committee - Speech Link
2: of this Bill, and we have tabled amendments in advance of this debate that remove from the Bill provisions - Speech Link
3: authorise participation in criminal conduct for devolved purposes in Scotland. I have just outlined why we - Speech Link

7. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
24/11/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: documents: 10th Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights and 19th Report from the Constitution Committee - Speech Link
2: course of, or otherwise in connection with, the conduct of” and insert “by” Member’s explanatory - Speech Link
3: First, I wondered whether“criminal conduct in the course of … conduct”is something to do with - Speech Link

8. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
11/01/2021 - Lords Chamber

1: They are for the purposes of removing the total criminal and civil immunity for undercover agents authorised - Speech Link

9. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
13/01/2021 - Lords Chamber

1: documents: 10th Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, 19th Report from the Constitution Committee - Speech Link
2: insert— “( ) A criminal conduct authorisation may not be granted to a covert human intelligence source under - Speech Link
3: 12, which seeks to prohibit the granting of criminal conduct authorisations to children, I wish to speak - Speech Link

10. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
03/12/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: documents: 10th Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, 19th Report from the Constitution Committee - Speech Link
2: amendment is intended to constrain the use of criminal conduct authorisations by precluding their use for - Speech Link
3: all of them in various respects is to limit the conduct for which CCAs can be granted as set out in Clause - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Do not pass the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Criminal Conduct Bill
1. Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill
asked by: Andrew Mitchell
05/10/2020
... whether officials of her Department engaged with their US counterparts on the FBI’s policy expressly limiting the crimes which its covert human intelligence sources may commit when preparing the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill.

2. Food: Standards
asked by: Andrew Mitchell
05/10/2020
... in what circumstances her Department envisages that undercover Food Standards agents will need authorisation to participate in criminal activity in the course of their duties.

3. Food Standards Agency
asked by: Andrew Mitchell
05/10/2020
... whether it is his policy that Food Standards agents will receive training if they are authorised to participate in criminal activity in the course of their duties under Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill.

4. Drugs: Organised Crime
asked by: Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb
27/02/2019
...To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any police forces plan to increase the number of juvenile covert human intelligence sources to deal with county lines drugs conspiracies.

5. Armed Forces: Surveillance
asked by: Lloyd Russell-Moyle
02/11/2020
... which units of the armed forces are trained to run covert human intelligence sources (a) in the UK and (b) overseas.

Latest Questions

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This bill formally grants specific agencies immunity from laws (such as the police, army, environmental bodies).

If this bill is passed, somebody authorised by these powers could commit violent or sexual crimes, and many others, without legal consequence or charges.

We believe this could endanger lives, families and businesses and violate human rights. It is inhumane to allow these sources to commit crime without charge.


Top 50 Constituencies by Number of Signatures

2,368 signatures - 22.0% of total

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Government Response

The Government supports the passage of this Bill. It is important legislation that provides intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the capabilities required to keep the public safe.


Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) play a unique and crucial role in gathering intelligence which helps in safeguarding the public from serious crimes including terrorism, drugs and firearms offences, and child sexual exploitation and abuse.

In performing that role, it is essential that CHIS build credibility and gain the trust of those under investigation. There are therefore occasions where - in carefully managed circumstances and subject to robust independent safeguards - they may need to participate in criminality themselves.

This is an important Bill that provides an express power for intelligence agencies, law enforcement and a limited number of other public authorities to authorise this capability. This is not a new capability; participation in criminality by CHIS has been accepted for many years. However, to date, there has been no statute law that authorises it explicitly in the UK, with each agency working under their own legal powers. This Bill remedies that by providing a clear and consistent legal basis for this longstanding tactic which remains vital for the prevention and detection of crime, as well as national security.

CHIS will never be given authority to commit any or all crime. Criminal Conduct Authorisations (CCA) must be necessary for, and proportionate to, the criminality they are seeking to prevent. The Authorising Officer must ensure the level of criminality authorised is at the lowest level of intrusion possible to achieve the aims of the operation. There are limits to the conduct which can be authorised as all public authorities are bound by the Human Rights Act 1998 to operate in a way that is compatible with the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. Rights that are protected by the Convention include the right to life, and prohibition of torture or subjecting someone to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

However, the Bill does not list specific crimes which may be authorised, or prohibited, as to do so would place into the hands of criminals, terrorists and hostile states a means of creating a checklist for suspected CHIS to be tested against. This would threaten the future of the CHIS capability and result in an increased threat to the public.

The Bill only includes those public authorities with a clear operational need for the power in order to protect the public from criminality. The list of public authorities included in this Bill is a significantly smaller list than those able to authorise the use and conduct of a CHIS more generally. The Government has published examples of where wider public authorities may need to utilise this tactic and these can be found alongside further detail on the safeguards in place at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covert-human-intelligence-sources-draft-code-of-practice

The robust safeguards in place ensure that activity is only authorised where it is deemed necessary and proportionate. All authorisations are granted by an experienced and highly trained authorising officer who will ensure that the authorisation has strict parameters, is tightly bound and is clearly communicated to the CHIS. The Bill does not prevent the prosecution authorities from considering a prosecution for any activity outside the specific authorisation granted.

All activity is then overseen by the independent Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC). The IPC and his Judicial Commissioners have all held high judicial office and are entirely independent of the Government. The IPC conducts inspections of public authorities and publishes an annual report on the findings from these inspections. The frequency of these inspections is decided by the IPC and inspectors must have unfettered access to documents and information to support the Commissioner’s functions. The Bill allows for the IPC to carry out rigorous inspections of all public authorities authorising CHIS criminal conduct, which may make recommendations on future deployments or authorisations.

In addition, any person or organisation can make a complaint to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) at no financial cost, with regards to the powers legislated by this Bill. Any complaint will be independently considered by the Tribunal. The IPT operates one of the most open and transparent systems in the world. The Tribunal hears cases in open where possible and publishes detailed reports on its work and rulings.

Home Office