UK security service admits to surveillance breaches of human rights law

The secret recording by the MI5, MI6 and GCHQ of privileged conversations between lawyers and clients is a breach of human rights law, according to an unexpected government admission - and rectification work is urgently taking place as a result.

UK authorities have admitted human rights breaches over lawyer client conversations Dmitry Kalinovsky

In a surprising move, the government accepted before a hearing of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal that policies enabling such eavesdropping is in breach of European human rights law. The government says it is working urgently to rectify the situation. The admission was made during hearings related to claims by some Libyans that there were unlawfully subject to rendition back to Libya by the British government and that their position was compromised by the illegal eavesdropping on their confidential conversations with their lawyers. 

Not deliberate

Despite the admission, the government was careful not to accept that any deliberate wrong-doing took place. A government spokesman said: 'Our security and intelligence agencies are subject to robust legal oversight and independent safeguards. The concession the government has made today relates to the agencies’ policies and procedures governing the handling of legally privileged communications and whether they are compatible with the [European Convention on Human Rights].' Source: Financial Times

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