© 2013 The Author. Oversight of intelligence and security agencies has become of significant interest in recent years. In the UK the principal mechanism for providing parliamentary oversight of the agencies is the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). However, until 2013 the ISC was a constitutional anomaly: as a statutory committee appointed by the Prime Minister it was a committee of parliamentarians, but not a committee of Parliament. In recent years a number of parliamentary select committees have undertaken inquiries involving scrutiny of the work of the intelligence agencies and the government's use of intelligence. Some select committees have also argued that Parliament should play a greater role in the scrutiny of intelligence. In 2011 the ISC proposed that it should become a committee of Parliament, an idea taken up in the Justice and Security green paper and which became reality in 2013. This article examines the role of select committees in scrutinising intelligence issues and the potential impact of the change in status of the ISC.
Kirkpatrick, J., Bochel, H., & Defty, A. (2015). 'New mechanisms of independent accountability': Select committees and parliamentary scrutiny of the intelligence services. Parliamentary Affairs, 68(2), 314-331. https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gst032