David Davis says intelligence agency breach of lawyer confidentiality could jeopardise historic convictions
David Davis MP says that intelligence agency breach of lawyer confidentiality could jeopardise historic convictions
Mr Davis said:
“Today in a rare open hearing of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal information was released which points to a national scandal in the behaviour of our intelligence agencies.
Lawyer client confidentiality is a foundation stone of our legal system, and historically has been absolutely respected by government agencies.
In the past, when a bug or intercept on a criminal accidentally picked up a conversation with the criminal’s lawyer, the rule was that it was immediately deleted.
Today’s hearing shows that is no longer the case.
Each of the three main agencies are clearly keeping records of legal privileged material, and have explicit policies to handle. In the case of MI5 that policy includes concealing from the court that they have the material, including the secret courts and security cleared special advocates paid by the state.
This change has been carried out without changing the law or telling Parliament.
This is an enormous breach of defendants judicial rights. Indeed, one dreadful possible consequence is that it could lead to historic convictions being quashed in serious cases, including terrorism cases.