This consultation seeks views on two revised Codes of Practice made under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000 (RIP(S)A). These Codes deal with Covert Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources.
A number of changes have occurred since the Codes were first published. Minor issues include changes to the names of organisations included in RIP(S)A. Other issues include new Orders which seek to provide for an enhanced authorisation regime around covert activity which could result in obtaining legally confidential information, the amalgamation of Scotland’s eight police forces and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency and an enhanced authorisation regime for Police Scotland’s use of undercover officers.
RIP(S)A provides specified public authorities with a regulatory framework within which covert activity can be undertaken lawfully. It does this by requiring a public authority to set out fully the reasons why covert activity is necessary and to demonstrate that such a course of action is proportionate to what it seeks to achieve. Using this framework requires the public authority to give full consideration to the potential infringements on an individual’s human rights, specifically under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) .