These Regulations are the first commencement regulations made under the Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act 2019. That Act grants law enforcement agencies and prosecuting authorities the power to apply for and obtain electronic data directly from service providers (those who create, process, communicate or store electronic data) for the purposes of criminal investigations and prosecutions. Such orders may only be used when permitted under an international co-operation arrangement between the UK and the country where the subject of the order is located (such as the US-UK agreement recently signed). Each request will be subject to robust scrutiny in UK courts, mirroring the existing safeguards and tests already in place for domestic powers to obtain investigatory and evidential material. Some provisions of the Act dealing with the making of regulations, interpretation, extent and commencement came into force on Royal Assent. This new set of regulations brings into force the provisions of the 2019 Act necessary to enable applications for overseas production orders to be made by service police across the whole of the UK and brings into force, for England and Wales and Scotland, all other substantive provisions of the 2019 Act which relate to the process for applying for, making, and serving an overseas production order.
The Act itself can be found at –
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