ethics international press

Espionage and Secrecy

Espionage & Secrecy book coverThe Official Secrets Acts 1911 - 1989 of the United Kingdom

The complex subject of the UK law, and cases, relating to 'official secrecy' and espionage is analysed in this prize-winning treatise. Bringing the subject up to the latest 1989 Act, the author traces the history of the British Official Secrets Acts from 1911, 1920 and 1939 by indicating why the Acts were passed, what other countries, like Australia, Canada and India, adopted modified versions of the Acts, and which 'spies' were prosecuted and convicted under this UK criminal law.

Title: Espionage and Secrecy
Author: Rosamund M. Thomas, Ph.D., M.A. (Cantab)
To be published under the Routledge Revivals programme : Forthcoming "Espionage and Secrecy" (please apply directly to Routledge Revivals to purchase this book).

More about Espionage and Secrecy

Problems arose in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s relating to espionage and secrecy, varying from the proven case of spying by Geoffrey Prime at GCHQ, Cheltenham, to Peter Wright and the notorious 'Spycatcher' trials. The latter trials, which involved inter alia the Australian courts, raised serious concerns about whether cases of official secrecy are covered by the criminal law (that is, the Official Secrets Acts) or the civil law (that is, the law of confidentiality).

Espionage and Secrecy is concerned mainly with the criminal law dealing with official secrecy. The author, Dr Rosamund Thomas, explains in detail the Official Secrets Acts, in order that threats to national security arising from espionage and other leakages of information, might be better understood. She sets the UK Official Secrets Acts in the context of other laws, such as the Security Services Act of 1989. Whilst she highlights cases, such as that of Geoffrey Prime at GCHQ, the author also provides a theoretical and conceptual analysis of the Official Secrets law from 1911-1989, as well as making excursions into the civil law of confidentiality, where relevant. References are also made to other countries, for example, the Walker spy ring in the United States, the case of Hugh Hambleton in Canada, and the Peter Wright trials in the Australian courts.

This prize-winning book is an invaluable guide to professors and students of law; public administration and related subjects; civil liberties; human rights; history; and politics.

Reviews

Outstanding work of scholarship...the author's book can well be described, to date, as monumental and the last word

The National Intelligence Study Center (USA)