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Intelligence Oversight in the UK

09:00, 16 Nov 2010
RUSI, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET

Link to map: multimap

PLACES AVAILABLE: Open to all

book tickets

Standard Rate: 300 + 17.5% VAT = 352.50

Corporate Rate: 240 + 17.5% VAT = 282.00

UK Government/Military Rate: 175 + 17.5% VAT = 205.62

About the event:

Mi6 Web SmallIntelligence – and Intelligence Oversight – has never appeared more in the public eye than it does today. Mainstream British media continues to focus on the role of the Intelligence Services in extraordinary rendition, the legislative framework surrounding control orders and stop and search powers, and on the alleged intelligence failures during the Iraq War. In addition, recent announcements by the Government have confirmed that the structure and operation of the Intelligence Community in the UK will be subject to two major reviews, the Strategic Defence and Security Review and the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Review. Both are likely to impact, dramatically, on the existing format of the Intelligence and Security Services in the UK.

Confirmed contributors:-

  • Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE, formerly Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service and Senior Associate Fellow, RUSI
  • Sir David Pepper KCMG, formerly Director GCHQ
  • John Morrison, former Investigator for the ISC
  • Professor Ian Leigh, Director of the Durham Human Rights Centre, Professor of Law
  • Lord Hutton of Furness, Chairman RUSI
  • Lord Justice Gross, Royal Courts of Justice
  • Lord Macdonald of River Glaven, QC, Matrix Chambers
  • Dr Michael S Goodman, Department of War Studies, King's College London and Official Historian of the Joint Intelligence Committee
  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind, KCMG, QC, Chairman, Intelligence and Security Committee
  • Mark Urban, Diplomatic and Defence Editor of Newsnight
  • Professor Peter Gill, Honorary Fellow, University of Liverpool
  • Professor Christopher Andrew, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

This one-day conference is timed to coincide with the submission of both review reports. It seeks to explore recent developments in Intelligence Oversight and the ramifications of such developments in the context of current threats to UK Security.

The conference will focus on three specific areas of interest:

Nature of Intelligence Oversight in the UK
The agencies and committees involved in Intelligence Oversight in the UK have been subject to a range of changes in recent years and will, in all likelihood, be subject to further changes following Governmental review. This session, featuring speakers from Government and Academic backgrounds, will identify recent developments in the Intelligence Oversight framework operating in the UK and the effects of these changes in the current security climate.

  • How has Intelligence Oversight developed in recent years and what is the purpose of these changes?
  • How will Intelligence Oversight change as a consequence of Governmental Review and how will this re-structuring influence the work of the Intelligence and Security Services?
  • How has legislation post-7/7 affected the UK’s security? Will recent changes in legislation create a freer and more secure Britain? Have allegations of rendition and criticism of Control Orders and Stop and Search Powers increased the UK’s security or threatened it?

Failures in Intelligence Oversight? The Iraq War
The work of the Chilcott Inquiry has re-ignited the discussion on the role of intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq War and during its conduct. This session will focus on the failures and lessons learned from the Iraq War, the potential failures of the Intelligence Oversight bodies during the conflict and provide lessons for the future. The discussion will be provided by speakers from Academic, Governmental and Diplomatic backgrounds.

  • Were there Intelligence failures during the Iraq War? If so, what were they?
  • What role should Intelligence Oversight play in future UK Military Operations?


Technology in Intelligence Oversight: Privacy and Security in the UK
Technology has increased our ability to identify and neutralise threats against UK security, but  alongside these developments is increasing public concern about the right to individual privacy. This session will focus on the relationship between Civil Liberties and maintaining Security in the UK.

  • Can Intelligence Oversight simultaneously preserve Individual Freedoms and maintain Security? How has technology changed the work of Intelligence Services and countered the threat posed by terrorism?
  • Are recent technological developments leading to a Police state?
  • What are the responsibilities of the Media when reporting on matters of National Security

For further infomation on sponsorship enquiries, please contact Tom Mortimer on tomm@rusi.org or +44 (0)20 7747 2627.  A conference programme will be made available shortly.

Event manager: Sabrina Downey

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