This is a single section from Chapter 18. Read the full chapter here.

What procedure should apply to the exercise of the search power?

New search powers should apply the rules and procedures set out in Part 4 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012.


Legislation that creates new search powers should contain a specific statutory provision that applies Part 4 of the Act.

Part 4 sets out a comprehensive set of rules concerning the conduct of searches by consent; the application for, issuing and execution of search warrants; the conduct of warrantless searches; how to treat legally privileged and confidential material; and the application of other legal privileges. Part 4 also addresses what happens to seized material following the end of proceedings or an investigation, and what immunities apply to those people who issue and execute orders and search warrants under the Act.

Where Part 4 applies, enforcement officers will also have access to the powers and procedures in Part 3 of the Act (including surveillance powers, production orders, declaratory orders, and surveillance device warrants).

Legal advice should be sought to help determine whether or not the rules and procedures in the Act should apply in their entirety or in part. Good reasons are required for not applying or for modifying the procedures in Part 4. Good reasons might include the need for a more specialised or technically complex set of rules and procedures (see, for example, the Animal Welfare Act 1999).

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