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date: 20 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the legal framework within which security and intelligence agencies operate in the United Kingdom. It first discusses the legislative charters of the three main agencies. Following the discussion on the legislative charters of the Security Service (M15), the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or M16), and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the article discusses the accountability these three agencies to the ministers, Parliament, and the judiciary. The article concludes with a discussion on the significant impact of human rights standards upon the agencies's work and current and future trends.

Keywords: legal framework, security agencies, intelligence agencies, United Kingdom, legislative charters, Security Service, Secret Intelligence Service, Government Communications Headquarters, accountability, human rights standards

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