Press releases

  • 15 March 2016 - Members of Parliament will today have the opportunity to debate the Investigatory Powers Bill in the House for the first time. The Bar Council explains where the Bill has gone wrong and looks forward to working with members on all sides of the House at committee stage to put in place proper protections for the right of citizens to consult with their lawyer in confidence.

  • 2 March 2016 - Peter Carter QC, Chair of the Bar Council Surveillance and Privacy Working Group said:“The Government claims to have responded to the Joint Committee’s recommendation that protections for legal privilege should appear on the face of the Bill and meet the standards required by common law and Convention case law. In fact, they have done the opposite.

  • 2 March 2016 - Despite claims that new surveillance laws will contain ‘protections for lawyers’, today’s Investigatory Powers Bill will allow authorities total access to confidential, legally privileged communications between individuals and their lawyers, even when someone is in a legal dispute with the Government or defending themselves against prosecution.

  • 26 February 2016 - US authorities could access legally privileged information held by barristers in England and Wales, the Bar Council has warned its members. Guidance issued to all barristers in England and Wales, explains that the Patriot Act and other surveillance laws could allow US authorities to access confidential, legally privileged data held in the cloud and on external back up services which use computers owned by US corporations.

  • 17 July 2015 - Chairman of the Bar, Alistair MacDonald QC has responded to today’s High Court declaration that the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) 2014 is unlawful.

  • 18 June 2015 - In response to the investigatory powers review report, ‘A Question of Trust’ by David Anderson QC, Chairman of the Bar Alistair MacDonald QC said: “UK surveillance laws are in urgent need of an overhaul, and today’s report makes a strong case for ensuring that any new legislation receives proper Parliamentary scrutiny and guarantees that communications between lawyers and their clients remain private.

  • 19 February 2015 - The Government yesterday admitted that security service eavesdropping on conversations between lawyers and clients breaches our right to privacy and is unlawful, but this should come as no surprise, according to the Bar Council.

  • 20 January 2015 - The Law Society, Bar Council, The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have come together as the Professionals for Information Privacy Coalition to express a shared concern in response to the current proposals contained in the draft code of practice for RIPA.