The Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice conducted a review of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012, as is required by section 357 of that Act. The review was referred to us by the then Minister of Justice on 28 June 2016 and we jointly reported to her within one year of that date.
The Search and Surveillance Act 2012 controls how police and some other government agencies search people or property or use surveillance devices for the purpose of investigating crime. When it was enacted, it created greater consistency and transparency in the way in which search, seizure and surveillance power are carried out by police and other enforcement agencies. Four years later, it is timely to consider whether it continues to operate effectively both as a tool for the investigation of crime and as a mechanism to safeguard the rights and interests of those people investigated.
The Law Commission and Ministry of Justice called for public submissions on the issues arising under this review in 2016.