A message from the reviewer

David Anderson Q.C
David Anderson Q.C

Welcome! I am an independent Q.C. and not part of the government machine. I am tasked with reviewing the operation of the United Kingdom’s anti-terrorism laws. Where I am critical, I recommend change. My reports and recommendations are submitted to ministers and laid before Parliament.

As reviewer I have a very high degree of access both to classified documents and to those most closely involved with defence against terrorism: Read more…


The Court of Appeal gave its¬†judgment this morning on the¬†Government’s appeal against the Divisional Court’s ruling in July in a claim for judicial review of DRIPA 2014, brought by David Davis MP and Tom Watson MP.¬† The ruling had been eagerly awaited by students of the Investigatory Powers Bill.

In summary, the judgment changes the legal weather around the bulk retention of (and access to) communications data, in a way that the Government will welcome.  But the Court of Appeal has deferred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for a final determination of the issues.  Even with the expedition that has been sought, it must be doubtful whether that will be obtained before the scheduled enactment of the Investigatory Powers Bill in late 2016.

Here is the judgment: Read more…

As sharp-eyed commentators have noted, the launch of the Investigatory Powers Bill on 4 November was accompanied by a significant avowal.  This related to the use by intelligence agencies (but not the police) of a bulk collection power, applicable to communications data but not to content or internet connection records, under s94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984.  The operation of that power had never been made public.

A number of people have asked whether I was aware of this during my Investigatory Powers Review. Read more…


My annual report on the operation of the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 was laid before Parliament by the Home Secretary on the morning of Thursday 17 September.  You can download it here:

Terrorism Acts Report 2015 Print version

Terrorism Acts Report 2015_web version

The report is also available on the gov.uk site.

I was interviewed about countering extremism (together with surveillance and the Northern Ireland related terrorism) on World at One (BBC Radio 4) on publication day.

Press coverage included these articles in The Guardian and HuffPost. Read more…



I was the guest of the Muslim Council of Britain today at its ground-breaking conference in London on “Terrorism and Extremism: how should British Muslims respond?”

Some of the many interesting people I met there asked me for a copy of my short address.  Here it is, as well as I could remember it.