“New mechanisms of independent accountability”: select committees and Parliamentary scrutiny of the intelligence services

Bochel, Hugh and Defty, Andrew and Kirkpatrick, Jane (2015) “New mechanisms of independent accountability”: select committees and Parliamentary scrutiny of the intelligence services. Parliamentary Affairs, 68 (2). pp. 314-331. ISSN 0031-2290

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Abstract

Oversight of intelligence and security agencies has become of significant interest in recent years. In the United Kingdom the principal mechanism for providing parliamentary oversight of the agencies is the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). However, until 2013 the ISC was a constitutional anomaly: as a statutory committee appointed by the Prime Minister it was a committee of parliamentarians, but not a committee of Parliament. In recent years a number of parliamentary select committees have undertaken inquiries involving scrutiny of the work of the intelligence agencies and the government’s use of intelligence. Some select committees have also argued that Parliament should play a greater role in the scrutiny of intelligence. In 2011 the ISC proposed that it should become a committee of Parliament, an idea taken up in the Justice and Security green paper and which became reality in 2013. This article examines the role of select committees in scrutinising intelligence issues and the potential impact of the change in status of the ISC.

Keywords:accountability, intelligence, Parliament, Intelligence and Security Committee, legislative oversight, select committees, bmjgoldcheck, NotOAChecked
Subjects:L Social studies > L230 UK Government/Parliamentary Studies
L Social studies > L200 Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:16699
Deposited On:16 Feb 2015 14:16

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