This note is not part of the regulations, but is intended to indicate their general effect.
These regulations, which come into force on the day after their notification in the Gazette, provide for a transitional matter in relation to the requirements for surveillance device warrants, which are set out in the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 (the Act).
The provisions of the Act that set out the requirements for those warrants came into force on 18 April 2012. Most of the other provisions of the Act, including provisions that will replace the current search warrant regime under the Summary Proceedings Act 1957, are not yet in force. Under the Act, a surveillance device warrant can be issued only if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence has been committed in respect of which the Act or any enactment specified in the Schedule of the Act authorises an enforcement officer to apply for a warrant to enter premises. Doubts have been raised whether section 6 of the Act (which provides for the issue of search warrants to constables) can currently be relied on for that purpose as that section is not yet in force. Currently, the corresponding provision in the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 (section 198) is still in force and continues to be the provision under which search warrants are issued to constables.
Section 356 of the Act provides a power to make regulations for transitional purposes. This was inserted into the Act because it was realised that with such a complex piece of legislation, and the need for some parts to come into force ahead of other parts, there was a risk that an unforeseen problem might arise.
These regulations deem section 198 of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 to be an enactment specified in the Schedule of the Act for the purposes of section 51(a)(i) of the Act. The regulations will be in effect during the period in which section 198 of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 continues to be in force and until it is replaced by section 6 of the Act. During the transitional period in which the regulations are in force, section 198 of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 will therefore be the authorising provision that fulfils the precondition for the issue of surveillance device warrants.