Latest Issue

Listening in

We should welcome the removal of the ban on the use of intercept evidence in court—as long as it's done in the right way

By Ian Caplin   February 2008

A privy council report published in late January recommended in principle that the ban on intercept evidence in court be removed. This is fast becoming the consensus view. While there are some strong arguments for its removal, the devil is going to be in the detail of how it is done.

The police and other intelligence agencies can be authorised to conduct surveillance activities under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Evidence from bugging—the use of concealed listening devices or cameras—is admissible in court. But intercept evidence—which covers the covert interception of telephone calls, faxes, email and ordinary post—is…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect