How many times did court doors close? – BBC News

Posted July 23rd, 2014 in closed material, news, private hearings, statistics by michael

‘One for spy thriller fans and conspiracy theorists: in the last year, the government has asked judges five times to let it give secret evidence to defend itself in otherwise open court cases.’

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BBC News, 22nd July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Selected journalists to attend secret terror trial – the end of press freedom? – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted June 20th, 2014 in closed material, news, private hearings, reporting restrictions, terrorism by tracey

‘The application to have an entire trial held in secret caused a bit of a stir when news of the application was released earlier this month. The Court of Appeal has now permitted some of the hearing to be heard in public. This will probably be limited to the formalities at the start and end of the trial and parts of the Prosecution Opening.’

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 17th June 2014

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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Secret trials – a threat to justice? – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted June 20th, 2014 in closed material, news, private hearings, reporting restrictions, terrorism by tracey

‘Not since the long gone days of the Star Chamber has a case happened in secret with no reporting of the names of defendants, the charges, or the evidence. Whilst some element of secrecy is common place (see any trial with a youth or a sexual offence in the Crown Court for example) the idea that someone could be arrested, charged and potentially imprisoned without anyone beyond the immediate players knowing about it was anathema to the English lawyer.’

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 16th June 2014

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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Open justice and freedom of information – Browning in the Court of Appeal – Panopticon

‘The issue of just how open our justice system should be is an issue which is or should be of fundamental concern to all practising lawyers. If, as Jeremy Bentham once stated ‘publicity is the very soul of justice’ (cited by Lord Shaw in the leading case of Scott v Scott [1913] AC 477), then an open justice system is the corporeal expression of that soul. However, we now live in times where open justice is increasingly under threat. Indeed, as last week’s headlines reminded us all, matters have now got to a stage where some judges at least have been prepared to allow, not merely the deployment of a limited closed procedure to deal with certain aspects of a case, but a completely secret trial. It no doubt came as a relief to many that the Court of Appeal was not prepared to sanction such a comprehensive departure from the open justice principle: Guardian News v AB CD. However, the mere fact that the judiciary was prepared to contemplate such a procedure shows how far we have come since the days of Scott v Scott.’

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Panopticon, 18th June 2014

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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The secret trial controversy – how open will this newly opened justice be? – Legal Week

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Legal Week, 16th June 2014

Source: www.legalweek.com

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Secret trials – a little transparency, a lot to worry about – UK Human Rights Blog

‘The Court of Appeal has published its decision in Guardian News Media v AB and CD. It is not a judgment, the Court says. Judgments – plural – will be given “in due course.” Still, the 24 paragraph decision contains the order and explanation of the order, and gives an indication of some of the reasons that will follow.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 12th June 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Trial of AB and CD part of creeping move towards secret justice – The Guardian

‘The case of AB and CD has been widely described as “Britain’s first secret trial”. It would be more accurately described as the latest of a number of creeping moves towards secret justice.’

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The Guardian, 12th June 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Secret terrorism trial runs risk of miscarriage of justice, says Sadiq Khan – The Guardian

‘Plans to hold the criminal trial of two men charged with serious terrorism offences entirely in secret runs the risk of creating a miscarriage of justice that will never be put right, the shadow justice secretary has warned.’

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The Guardian, 5th June 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Closed Material – London Review of Books

‘Nicholas Phillips on the problems posed by the use of secret evidence.’

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London Review of Books, 17th April 2014

Source: www.lrb.co.uk

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Children separated from their families by courts must know why – Daily Telegraph

‘Children separated from their parents in secret family court judgments must be able to find out the reasons for the court’s decisions when they grow up, the most senior family judge has said. Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Division, said it was “great concern” that the judgments of all family court judges were not routinely transcribed and published.’

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Daily Telegraph, 18th May 2014

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Police bid to obtain journalistic material refused – Supreme Court – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted March 14th, 2014 in closed material, disclosure, evidence, news, police by tracey

‘R (on the application of British Sky Broadcasting Limited) (Respondent) v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Appellant) [2014] UKSC 17. This was an appeal from a ruling by the Administrative Court that it was procedurally unfair, and therefore unlawful, for BSkyB to have had a disclosure order made against it without full access to the evidence on which the police’s case was based and the opportunity to comment on or challenge that evidence.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 13th March 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Regina (British Sky Broadcasting Ltd) v Central Criminal Court (B and another intervening) – WLR Daily

Posted March 14th, 2014 in closed material, disclosure, evidence, law reports, news, police by tracey

Regina (British Sky Broadcasting Ltd) v Central Criminal Court (B and another intervening); [2014] UKSC 17;  [2014] WLR (D)  123

‘On the hearing of an application by a police officer for a production order under section 9 of, and Schedule 1 to, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, seeking access to journalistic material held by a news organisation for the purposes of an investigation into an alleged offence, the court could not have regard to evidence adduced by the police in support of the application which had not been disclosed to the news organisation.’

WLR Daily, 12th March 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Use of disclosed documents – Panopticon

Posted February 10th, 2014 in civil procedure rules, closed material, disclosure, documents, injunctions, news by tracey

‘The important general principle is of course that a party to whom a document has been disclosed in litigation may use that document only for the purpose of the proceedings in which it is disclosed. There are, nonetheless, three significant exceptions to that principle, set out in CPR r31.22(1).’

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Panopticon, 7th February 2014

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Secret hearings could allow police to seize journalists’ notes if bill passes – The Guardian

Posted February 3rd, 2014 in bills, closed material, disclosure, inquiries, media, news, police by tracey

‘The seizure of journalists’ notebooks, photographs and digital files could be conducted in secret hearings, owing to a little-publicised clause in a government bill aimed at cutting red tape, media organisations have warned. Requests for notebooks, computer disks, photographs or videos must currently be made in open court and representatives of news groups can be present. But the clause – in the deregulation bill, which comes before the Commons on Monday – significantly alters the way courts consider so-called “production orders”, stripping out current safeguards.’

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The Guardian, 31st January 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Sir James Munby: Caesarean mother case shows need for “radical change” in family courts – Daily Telegraph

‘The case of a mother whose baby was taken away following an enforced caesarean is an “irrefutable demonstration of the pressing need for radical change” in the family courts, senior judge says.’

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Daily Telegraph, 17th December 2013

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Secret courts: couple tell of their struggle to adopt granddaughter – Daily Telegraph

‘Grandparents of child taken into care by Essex County Council tell of their anguish at not having legal rights to be her guardian.’

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Daily Telegraph, 11th December 2013

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Alexander Litvinenko inquest: high court halts lifting of secrecy order – The Guardian

Posted November 27th, 2013 in closed material, coroners, disclosure, inquests, intelligence services, murder, news, Russia by tracey

‘The government has won a high court order to prevent the partial lifting of a secrecy order affecting the proposed inquest into the death of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko.’

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The Guardian, 27th November 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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CF v Security Service and others; Mohamed v Foreign and Commonwealth Office and others – WLR Daily

CF v Security Service and others; Mohamed v Foreign and Commonwealth Office and others [2013] EWHC 3402 (QB); [2013] WLR (D) 439

“A court could make a declaration under section 6 of the Justice and Security Act 2013 permitting a closed material application to be made to the court before a public interest immunity claim had been made or determined.”

WLR Daily, 7th November 2013

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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The “uneasy” co-existence of public interest immunity and closed material procedure – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted November 8th, 2013 in closed material, damages, human rights, news, public interest immunity, torture by tracey

“CF v Security Service and others and Mohamed v Foreign and Commonwealth Office and others [[2013] EWHC 3402 (QB). The High Court has today made the first court ruling on the use of the Justice and Security Act 2013 in a civil claim for damages.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 7th November 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Police spies case: women lose fight for public human rights hearing – The Guardian

“A group of women who are taking legal action against police chiefs over claims they were tricked into forming long-term relationships with undercover spies have lost their fight to have part of their case heard in public.”

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The Guardian, 5th November 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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