Codes of Practice

Codes of practice include guidance for authorised public authorities making an application or using any of the special investigatory powers available to them under RIPA or similar legislation. They help such public authorities assess and understand whether, and in what circumstances, it is appropriate to use such powers. The Codes also provide guidance on what procedures need to be followed by them in each case. All Codes are approved and debated in both Houses of Parliament and published. Public authorities are required by law to comply with them. The RIPA legislation is complex. 

The updated Interception of Communications Code of Practice 2016 reflects developments in the law since the Code was brought into force in 2002. The Equipment Interference Code of Practice 2016 explains the circumstances and procedures that must be followed before security and intelligence agencies can interfere with electronic equipment, such as computers. It also describes the rules that must apply to the processing, retention, destruction and disclosure of any information obtained by interference. They also provide more information on the safeguards that apply to the security and law enforcement agencies' exercise of interception powers. Development of these new Codes of Practice has coincided with, and in some cases anticipated or resulted from, the scrutiny of the previous Codes by the Tribunal.


Last updated: 5 Jul 16