West Law Report

Tribunal does not have exclusive jurisdiction

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on August 8, 2008

From The TimesAugust 5, 2008

Tribunal does not have exclusive jurisdiction
Queen’s Bench Division

Published August 5, 2008

Regina (A) v Director of Establishments of the Security Service

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal did not have exclusive jurisdiction where a claim that a public authority proposed to act in a way incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights brought up matters within its purview.

Mr Justice Collins so held in the Queen’s Bench Division on July 4, 2008, when rejecting a preliminary contention by the Director of Establishments of the Security Service, that the court had no jurisdiction to deal with a claim brought by A, a former member of the service, seeking to overturn the director’s refusal to consent to the publication of material relating to A’s work for the service.

HIS LORDSHIP said that the director asserted that the court had no jurisdiction to deal with an allegation of breach of article 10 of the Convention, protecting freedom of expression.

Section 65(2) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 provided for the jurisdiction of the tribunal. There was nothing in that section that indicated that the tribunal was to have exclusive jurisdiction to deal with matters raised in complaints for which the tribunal was the appropriate forum.

While section 65(2)(a) of the 2000 Act referred to the tribunal as being the only appropriate tribunal to deal with a claim under section 7(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998, those words made sense if it was intended to exclude any other tribunal which might have had jurisdiction, such as an employment tribunal.

No reference was made to exclusion of the court and there was no reason to imply it.

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