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Speak in safety - parliamentary event 11 April

8 April 2016

Surveillance campaigners are challenging MPs to boost safety and confidentiality measures in the controversial investigatory powers bill, before it is rushed into law.

On Monday evening the Speak in Safety campaign hosts an event in parliament, chaired by Joanna Cherry QC MP, to persuade MPs and Lords that more caution is needed. Crucial clauses in the bill are up for debate in committee the next day.

According to the Speak in Safety campaign, the bill does not protect the safety and confidentiality of sources and whistleblowers, or of individuals seeking legal representation.

Headed by the NUJ, the Bar Council and the Law Society, Speak in Safety campaigners argue it is in the public and national interest that illegality and wrong-doing are reported and that citizens can access legal representation. The campaigners are calling on parliamentarians to support amendments to the investigatory powers bill.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said:

"The current proposals contained in the investigatory powers bill are a risk to all journalists, journalistic sources and whistleblowers.
"The draft law must be changed to guarantee press freedom and enable journalistic sources and whistleblowers to speak in safety." 

Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, chairman of the Bar, said:

"We know that government agencies have in the past improperly eavesdropped on communications between litigants and their legal advisers.
"Clients who cannot be sure that conversations with their legal representative are held in confidence often fail to communicate information which is vital to their case, thus compromising their right to a fair hearing."

Jonathan Smithers, president of the Law Society, said:

"The law must guarantee citizens safe and secure channels of communication when they seek advice from their lawyers. Anything which results in a breach of this most fundamental of human rights is a violation of the rule of law."

To find out more information about the event and the campaign email: 

Tags: , speak in safety, professional, surveillance, investigatory powers bill, ripa, communications, snoopers' charter, parliament uk, legislation, parliamentary group, ethics, protection of sources, whistleblowers, bar council, law society