Simon has lectured extensively here and abroad on national security, terrorism, surveillance-related law and human rights. Simon usually undertakes training on an in-house basis and occasional events will be advertised on this page. If you wish to discuss your training requirements with him please get in touch.

He has modules for the following areas but if you need something specific, he is happy to discuss this with you in more detail.

  • Planning and authorising legally compliant surveillance operations
  • RIPA for authorising officers
  • Covert Human Intelligence Sources: the law generally and civil liability from use and conduct
  • Handling threats to life: understanding and applying Article 2 duties and obligations in order to avoid preventable deaths
  • Disclosure in criminal proceedings
  • The Investigatory Powers Act 2016

Upcoming Training Events


The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is amongst the most controversial and complex legislation on the statute book. Even before it was enacted, some of its key provisions were subject to legal challenge domestically and in the European Court of Justice. Despite this law enforcement and other public authorities have had to grapple with its lengthy and dense sections alongside hundreds of pages of draft Codes of Practice.

In order to assist those bodies having to work with the Act and in response to a number of requests to provide training on it, barrister Simon McKay – author of the leading text book, Covert Policing: law & Practice and the new Blackstones’ Guide to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 – has convened two training days to provide a comprehensive introduction and overview of the Act’s provisions, their practical effect and future challenges. The day will cover:


  1. Background to the Act’s conception and introduction
  •  limitations of RIPA
  • technological advances
  • Snowden and post-Snowden litigation
  1. Overview of the Act
  • Privacy safeguards
  • Forms of communications’ surveillance
  • Scheme for warrants and authorisations
  • judicial approval
  • investigatory powers commissioner
  • reform of IPT

 Getting to grips with practicalities

3. Understanding privacy protections

privacy: scope and parameters

  • underlying human rights principles: necessity and proportionality
  • where and when these are engaged
  • application, implications and vulnerabilities

4. Forms of communications surveillance 

  • Interception of communications, Comms Data, Equipment interference, bulk warrants and datasets 

5. Application process

6. Oversight

7. Future and concluding thoughts

This training event has the following objectives for delegates:

  • Provide an understanding of the key provisions of the IPA 2016 and an overview of other aspects of the legislation.
  • Ensure the practicalities of the Act are understood and capable of being applied.
  • Introduce the draft Codes of Practice.
  • Identify individual and organisational vulnerabilities as well as problems with the legislation, including current legal challenges
  • Understand the new oversight body and how approval, complaints and appeals will work.

The cost of the training day is £250 plus VAT. Delegates will receive course materials.

The dates and venues are London on 15 May 2018 (note the London event is now nearly sold out) and Leeds on 17 May 2018 (a few places left).

Places are strictly limited so book now to secure your place.

Email Simon using the form on his contact page