IPA s.56 (Exclusion of matters from legal proceedings etc.

Ben Liddicott ben at liddicott.com
Tue Dec 6 12:43:45 GMT 2016

The Register has an article up about this today:


The Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court



"Section 56(1)(b) creates a legally guaranteed ability - nay, duty - to lie
about even the potential for State hacking to take place, and to tell juries
a wholly fictitious story about the true origins of hacked material used
against defendants in order to secure criminal convictions. This is
incredibly dangerous. Even if you know that the story being told in court is
false, you and your legal representatives are now banned from being able to
question those falsehoods and cast doubt upon the prosecution story."


Is this correct, or is it overstating the case? And if so by how much?


If your defence is literally that the evidence was fabricated by the
security services, how could you proceed?


(This is certainly something that could happen. Further it's a trope in
popular culture that the security services will plant evidence of crimes to
discredit people. For example in Sherlock, Mycroft threatens to plant
illegal images to coerce either Watson or Sherlock Holmes to cooperate. So
the jury are likely to believe this is possible, even if unlikely. It is not
necessarily something which would be automatically disbelieved.)



Cheers, Ben




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