The government has rejected the most basic attempts by the Lords to amend the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill. Conservative MPs rejected judicial oversight and they rejected an attempt to rule out rape, murder and torture from the list of crimes that could be authorised. This will give over 500 senior police officers and numerous other organisations the ability to break any law when they (not a judge) deem it reasonable and proportionate to do so.
Today, the Lords will have another go at amending this dangerous legislation. Labour’s Baroness Chakrabarti, will move an amendment based upon work done by the Green Party team in the Lords, in order to prevent the most egregious crimes such as rape and torture from being authorised under powers in the Bill. One over-looked aspect of the Bill is that it authorises these crimes abroad. This would leave it open to authorities including MI6 and the MOD to authorise CHIS to commit potentially very serious crimes abroad. It took nearly two decades to reveal the UK’s involvement in torture and rendition overseas during the “war on terror”, with much of what took place still not fully known. It
is highly likely that criminal conduct overseas authorised under this Bill would not be revealed for many years, if ever.