Legislation and accountability

outside the royal courts of justice

SIS is part of our democratic society. Parliament and citizens need to be confident that our activities are within UK law, ethical, and consistent with our national values.  Like any other part of Government, SIS is subject to UK law, as are SIS members of staff. The following sets out how SIS is accountable to Parliament.

Oversight of SIS and its operations is exercised through Ministers (primarily the Foreign Secretary), Parliament (The Intelligence and Security Committee) and two independent Commissioners who provide judicial expertise. These arrangements are set out in two key pieces of UK legislation, the Intelligence Services Act 1994 (ISA) and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).

In May 2012 the goverment began debating the Justice and Security Bill. The Bill makes proposals on the way in which sensitive information is dealt with in the full range of civil judicial proceedings. It also considers options for strengthening non-judicial oversight of the security and intelligence agencies.

Click here to read more on the Justice and Security Bill