Search Legislation

Justice and Security Act 2013

Protection for Witnesses

46.Paragraph 7 protects evidence given by a person who is a witness before the ISC from being used in legal or disciplinary proceedings unless the evidence was given in bad faith.

47.Paragraph 7 introduces two protections. Paragraph 7(1) prevents use of evidence given by a person who is a witness before the ISC in any civil or disciplinary proceedings. Paragraph 7(2) prevents the evidence of a witness before the ISC from being used against him or her in criminal proceedings. Both protections are subject to an exception where the evidence in question is given to the ISC in bad faith.

48.The purpose of these protections is to encourage witnesses before the ISC to be as full and frank as possible in the evidence they provide. The fuller the evidence is that the ISC receives (excepting evidence given in bad faith), the more effective the ISC is likely to be in supervising the work of the security and intelligence agencies and the other bodies falling within its oversight remit.

49.These protections mirror, to some extent, the protections that apply to witnesses appearing before Select Committees, by virtue of the application of Parliamentary privilege to Select Committee proceedings. However, the ISC is different from Select Committees in that it has something of a hybrid nature, being a statutory Committee of Parliament.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government 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 Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources