Andrew Bird was one of a select group of specialists invited by the Law Commission to contribute at the pre-consultation stage to its review of the law relating to search warrants. The announcement of the consultation may be found here and the consultation paper itself found here.
The Commission is seeking to reform and rationalise the law relating to search warrants and how they may be challenged. The current law involves the Magistrates or Crown Court at the issue stage, the High Court as the sole venue for challenge, and the Crown Court for remedies under section 59 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. The procedure is complex and expensive and raises particular challenges when considering the seizure of computers and other digital media.
One of the contributions made by Andrew was to emphasise the need for the courts that issue warrants to have adequate resources to deal with these important applications which can impact heavily upon rights of privacy.
Andrew has in recent years been involved in many of the leading cases involving challenges to search warrants, including Newcastle United FC, Chatwani and Virdee. He is familiar with acting both for the agencies concerned and for those seeking to challenge the warrants.