Have your say on the Search and Surveillance Act

The Ministry of Justice and the Law Commission have released an Issues Paper discussing possible ways to improve the operation of the Search and Surveillance Act (2012)(external link) and are calling for public submissions.

The Act controls how and when Police and other law enforcement agencies can search people or property and carry out surveillance.

The purpose of the joint review is to ensure the Act effectively protects the rights and privacy of individuals as well as meeting the operational needs of law enforcement agencies.

“The review considers how the Act has operated since it came into force four years ago and whether any amendments should be made”, says Ministry of Justice Policy Deputy Secretary Rajesh Chhana.

“This includes examining problems with the Act that courts have identified, and how other countries have resolved questions about search and surveillance”, says Rajesh.

“The review focuses on the impact of recent developments in technology such as the use smartphones and of cloud-based storage which have increased markedly since the Act was drafted. The ways in which surveillance can be carried out have also changed. These developments have altered both the type of information that can potentially be accessed by law enforcement agencies and how it can be accessed. The Act may need to be updated to reflect this.”

Submissions are open until Friday 16 December, with the final report due to the Minister in June 2017.

For more information about the review and how to make a submission, go to the Ministry of Justice consultation hub and the Law Commission project page:

MOJ consultation hub: Review of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012(external link)

Law Commission: Search & Surveillance Act 2012(external link)

← Back to the news