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The oversight of the UK Intelligence and Security Services in relation to their alleged complicity in Extraordinary Rendition.

MCDONALD, ALICE,MARGARET (2012) The oversight of the UK Intelligence and Security Services in relation to their alleged complicity in Extraordinary Rendition. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Allegations that the UK Secret Intelligence Service and Security Service were complicit in extraordinary rendition in the “War on Terror” raise concerns about the effectiveness of the existing UK intelligence oversight framework. This thesis analyses the response of oversight institutions to the allegations, and considers their ability to provide meaningful intelligence oversight, both individually and holistically. It considers an oversight framework based on the separation of powers, in which the state institutions have complementary roles.

This thesis argues that the existing legislative oversight framework is outdated and that although due weight should be afforded to national security concerns, the current balance lies too far in favour of the executive. Both the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) and judiciary require greater powers to provide meaningful oversight. There is also an increasing role for civil society and transnational organisations, especially given the difficulties international intelligence cooperation poses for domestic intelligence oversight.

The thesis considers: (1) the legislative oversight framework and law relating to extraordinary rendition; (2) the global intelligence landscape in which the UK intelligence and security agencies operate, and effect of increasing international intelligence cooperation; (3) executive oversight and the relationship between the executive and the UK agencies; (4) the structure and powers of the ISC, and its reports concerning extraordinary rendition; (5) the role of the judiciary within intelligence oversight, and judgments made in the context of extraordinary rendition; (6) the increasing role for non-traditional actors, including Non-Governmental and Transnational Organisations and the Press.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Jurisprudence
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Law, Department of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Dec 2012 15:07

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