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(1)An authorisation under this Act—
(a)may be granted or renewed orally in any urgent case in which the entitlement to act of the person granting or renewing it is not confined to urgent cases; and
(b)in any other case, must be in writing.
(2)A single authorisation may combine two or more different authorisations under this Act; but the provisions of this Act that are applicable in the case of each of the authorisations shall apply separately in relation to the part of the combined authorisation to which they are applicable.
(3)Subject to subsections (4) and (8) below, an authorisation under this Act shall cease to have effect at the end of the following period—
(a)in the case of an authorisation which—
(i)has not been renewed and was granted either orally or by a person whose entitlement to act is confined to urgent cases; or
(ii)was last renewed either orally or by such a person,
the period of 72 hours beginning with the time when the grant of the authorisation or, as the case may be, its latest renewal takes effect;
(b)in a case not falling within paragraph (a) above in which the authorisation is for the conduct or the use of a covert human intelligence source, the period of 12 months beginning with the day on which the grant of the authorisation or, as the case may be, its latest renewal takes effect; and
(c)in any case not falling within paragraph (a) or (b) above, the period of three months beginning with the day on which the grant of the authorisation or, as the case may be, its latest renewal takes effect.
(4)Subject to subsection (6) below, an authorisation under this Act may be renewed, at any time before the time at which it ceases to have effect, by any person who would be entitled to grant a new authorisation in the same terms.
(5)Sections 6 to 18 above shall have effect in relation to the renewal of an authorisation under this Act as if references to the grant of an authorisation included references to its renewal.
(6)A person shall not renew an authorisation for the conduct or the use of a covert human intelligence source, unless the person—
(a)is satisfied that a review has been carried out of the matters mentioned in subsection (7) below; and
(b)has, for the purpose of deciding whether to renew the authorisation, considered the results of that review.
(7)The matters mentioned in subsection (6) above are—
(a)the use made of the source in the period since the grant or, as the case may be, latest renewal of the authorisation; and
(b)the tasks given to the source during that period and the information obtained from the conduct or the use of the source.
(8)The Scottish Ministers may by order provide, in relation to authorisations of such descriptions as may be specified in the order, that subsection (3) above is to have effect as if the period at the end of which an authorisation of a description so specified is to cease to have effect were such period, shorter than that provided for by that subsection, as may be fixed by or determined in accordance with that order.
(9)References in this section to the time at which, or the day on which, the grant or renewal of an authorisation takes effect are references—
(a)in the case of the grant of an authorisation to which paragraph (c) below does not apply, to the time at which or, as the case may be, day on which the authorisation is granted;
(b)in the case of the grant of the renewal of an authorisation to which paragraph (c) below does not apply, to the time at which or, as the case may be, day on which the authorisation would cease to have effect but for the renewal; and
(c)in the case of any grant or renewal that takes effect under subsection (1) of section 14 above at a time or on a day later than that given in paragraph (a) or (b) above, to the time at which or, as the case may be, the day on which the grant or renewal takes effect in accordance with that subsection.
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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills
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