Civil rights and parliamentary oversight of intelligence agencies

HRF 225/12 | December 2012


Dear Madam/Sir,

There is need for a statutory framework for South Asia’s intelligence agencies to build effective oversight and accountability mechanisms. Whilst national security is highly important to public interest, it is only one of many competing interests to be balanced for effective governance. This paper outlines best practice for regulation of intelligence services in South Asia, acknowledging the difficulty of balancing national security needs with civil liberties guarantees.  It seeks to identify appropriate civil liberties safeguards, whilst maintaining sufficient freedom for intelligence agencies to perform their functions effectively.

It appeared in the December 2012 issue of the South Asia Journal.