The High Court is hearing a legal challenge brought by two MPs (Conservative minister David Davis and Labour's Tom Watson) to the government's emergency surveillance law.

The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (Act) was fast-tracked through Parliament last July, after a ruling by the European Union's Court of Justice rendered existing powers illegal. The Act allows Britain's intelligence agencies to gather people's phone and internet communications data.

Davies and Watson will argue that the legislation is incompatible with human rights as the legislation was rushed, and lacked adequate safeguards. However, the government argue that, if the new law was not in place, the UK's ability to fight crime and protect the country against terrorism would have been seriously impeded.

The MPs' aim is to get the legislation sent back to Parliament for further consideration, under the terms of the Human Rights Act, or struck down under the terms of the European Charter. This legal challenge comes as the Home Secretary indicates that the government is to reintroduce the Communications Data Bill, which was not taken forward in 2012, at the earliest opportunity.

To read The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 click here.