Intelligence Oversight: Ensuring accountable intelligence within a framework of democratic governance
1 September, 2017
This SSR Backgrounder explains how the principles of democratic control and oversight can be applied to intelligence services. Oversight of intelligence matters, because intelligence services can pose a threat to democratic governance, the rule of law and human rights, even while acting in the public interest. Applying the principle of good security sector governance through a system of democratic control and oversight ensures intelligence services are both effective and accountable while providing security for the state and for its people.
This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions:
- Why is democratic oversight of intelligence important?
- How does democratic oversight of intelligence work?
- What are typical challenges for democratic oversight of intelligence?
- How does internal control of intelligence contribute to good governance?
- How does executive control of intelligence contribute to good governance?
- What role does parliament play in democratic oversight of intelligence?
- How is the justice system involved in the control and oversight of intelligence?
- How can public oversight apply to intelligence?