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James Berry appears in important IPT case on surveillance in misconduct investigations

16th May 2022

On 11 May 2022 the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (Lord Boyd, Sir Richard McLaughlin and Professor Graham Zellick QC) handed down their decision in Bartram & Howe v Chief Constable of British Transport Police.

The complaints’ case was that surveillance carried out on them during a misconduct investigation by British Transport Police (BTP) ought to have been authorised under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and breached their Article 8 ECHR rights.

James Berry represented BTP, who argued that RIPA did not apply to surveillance for the purpose of internal (non-criminal) misconduct investigations and that the IPT lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

The IPT appointed Counsel to the Tribunal who argued that RIPA did apply and that the IPT’s seminal case of C v The Police did not apply on the facts of case. C concerned ‘medical surveillance’ of a former officer suspected of exaggerating his pension claim, which the IPT decided fell outside RIPA and its jurisdiction.

The IPT accepted James’ arguments, applied the case of C v The Police to surveillance in (non-criminal) police misconduct investigations, and held that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.

James Berry advises public authorities including police forces on surveillance in criminal and misconduct investigations and represents parties in proceedings before the IPT and related civil litigation.

James was instructed by David Riddle of Simons Muirhead Burton.


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