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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Supreme Court rejects Kevin Nunn’s evidence release plea – BBC News

Posted June 18th, 2014 in appeals, disclosure, evidence, forensic science, murder, news, Supreme Court by sally

‘A man serving life in prison for murdering his ex-girlfriend has lost his fight to have forensic exhibits retested.’

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BBC News, 18th June 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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R (on the application of Nunn) (Appellant) v Chief Constable of Suffolk Constabulary and another (Respondents) – Supreme Court

R (on the application of Nunn) (Appellant) v Chief Constable of Suffolk Constabulary and another (Respondents) [2014] UKSC 37 (YouTube)

Supreme Court, 18th June 2014

Source: www.youtube.com/user/UKSupremeCourt

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Kevin Nunn: Judges to rule over fresh forensic tests eight years after murder conviction – The Independent

Posted June 18th, 2014 in appeals, disclosure, evidence, forensic science, murder, news, Supreme Court by sally

‘A salesman serving life in prison for murdering his former girlfriend will today find out the result of his Supreme Court fight to have key forensic exhibits retested.’

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The Independent, 18th June 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Phone hacking trial: After eight months, jury today begins sifting the mountain of evidence – The Independent

‘They are the two words the jury in the phone hacking trial may have waited months to hear. At 3.15pm in court 12 of the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Saunders said: “And finally.”’

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The Independent, 12th June 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Expert court witnesses ‘ignored clients’ guilt’ – BBC News

Posted June 9th, 2014 in animals, evidence, expert witnesses, news by sally

‘An undercover Panorama investigation has found some paid expert witnesses prepared to provide helpful court reports despite a client’s confession.’

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BBC News, 9th June 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Regina (Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 3) – WLR Daily

Regina (Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 3) [2014] EWCA Civ 708; [2014] WLR (D)  237

‘A leaked diplomatic cable published on the internet by a third party did not violate the archive and documents of the diplomatic mission which sent the cable since it had already been disclosed to the world by a third party. On that narrow ground it was admissible as evidence in court. However, even if the evidence in question had been admitted, it would not have led to a different decision and therefore was not a ground for allowing the appeal.’

WLR Daily, 23rd May 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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MN (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; KY (Somalia) v Same – WLR Daily

MN (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; KY (Somalia) v Same [2014] UKSC 30;  [2014] WLR (D)  227

‘A tribunal conducting asylum proceedings could admit, as expert evidence, a report by an organisation based on a telephone interview with an asylum claimant in which its analysts commented on the likelihood of that person originating from his claimed place of origin, based on the person’s dialect and answers to questions about the area in question, even though the report was in the name of the organisation rather than an individual and those contributing to it were identified only by serial numbers. However it was necessary for the tribunal in each particular case to be satisfied that the anonymity was necessary, with safeguards for the claimant in place, and that the authors of the report had demonstrated that they had relevant expertise for each matter on which they had commented.’

WLR Daily, 21st May 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) v MN and KY (Respondent) – Supreme Court

Posted May 28th, 2014 in asylum, evidence, expert witnesses, law reports by sally

Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) v MN and KY (Respondent) [2014] UKSC 30 (YouTube)

Supreme Court, 21st May 2014

Source: www.youtube.com/user/UKSupremeCourt

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MoD denies access to files for Deepcut soldier’s family – The Guardian

Posted May 27th, 2014 in armed forces, disclosure, evidence, freedom of information, news, suicide by sally

‘The family of a teenage soldier who died after being shot twice in the head at the Deepcut barracks have been denied access to a cache of files they believe could shed light on his death, the Guardian can reveal.’

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The Guardian, 26th May 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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UK man who fought in Syria is first to be convicted of terror offences related with the conflict – Daily Telegraph

Posted May 21st, 2014 in evidence, news, telecommunications, terrorism by tracey

‘A man whose wife told him to “go die in battlefield” in a text message as he went off to fight in Syria has become the first person in the UK to be convicted of terrorist offences in connection with the conflict.’

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Daily Telegraph, 20th May 2014

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Boundary disputes: Evidence – The pitfalls and practicalities – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted May 12th, 2014 in appeals, boundaries, costs, evidence, news, trespass by sally

‘Boundary disputes are rarely cost effective and the courts often make orders that make them disproportionately costly for the winner as well as the loser. Two recent cases demonstrate that risk and the importance of fully exploring and considering the available and/or potential evidence as early as possible.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 7th May 2014

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk

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Metropolitan Police officers start wearing body cameras – BBC News

Posted May 8th, 2014 in evidence, London, news, pilot schemes, police, video recordings by tracey

‘Met Police officers are to start wearing cameras on their uniforms as part of plans to boost transparency and accelerate convictions.’

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BBC News, 8th May 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Juries need to be taught about the reality of rape, says DPP – The Independent

Posted May 7th, 2014 in evidence, judiciary, juries, news, rape by sally

‘Judges should warn juries about the common misconceptions people have about rape before they are allowed to hear any evidence, two of the leading figures in the fight against sex crime say today.’

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The Independent, 6th May 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Mark Elliott: Judicial Review Reform — The Report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Earlier this week, the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has published its report on The implications for access to justice of the Government’s proposals to reform judicial review (HL 174 HC 868 2013-14). The report is, perhaps unsurprisingly, generally critical of the proposals and of the way in which they have been or are being introduced. I have already summarised the proposals and commented on some of them in earlier posts. In this post, I draw attention to some key passages in the JCHR’s report, commenting on them briefly and, at the end of the piece, offering some reflections on some of the underlying constitutional issues highlighted by the Committee.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 1st May 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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First victims spared harrowing court room under pre-recorded evidence pilot – Ministry of Justice

‘The first ever case allowing vulnerable victims and witnesses to give evidence ahead of the trial will start tomorrow.’

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Ministry of Justice, 28th April 2014

Source: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice

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Vulnerable witnesses allowed to give evidence pre-trial – BBC News

‘Vulnerable witnesses can give evidence before a trial starts from Monday as part of a pilot scheme in three Crown Courts in England.’

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BBC News, 28th April 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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JA (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department – WLR Daily

Posted April 14th, 2014 in appeals, asylum, evidence, immigration, law reports, tribunals by sally

JA (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 450; [2014] WLR (D) 163

‘Although a tribunal adjudicating on an asylum appeal did not have power, in the absence of express statutory provision, to exclude relevant evidence in the form of records of the asylum applicant’s interviews, it was required by the common law principle of fairness to consider with care how much weight should be attached to such evidence, having regard to the circumstances in which it came into existence, and the extent to which reliance could properly be placed on the applicant’s answers.’

WLR Daily, 9th April 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Nigel Evans verdict casts doubt over CPS decisions in sexual assault cases – The Guardian

Posted April 11th, 2014 in Crown Prosecution Service, evidence, news, prosecutions, sexual offences by sally

‘Former Commons deputy speaker’s acquittal suggests CPS may be too willing to bring charges when evidence is not very strong’

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The Guardian, 10th April 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Judges criticise police over ‘bizarre’ penis ID request – Daily Telegraph

‘Sex attacker Kelvyn Lester, 47, declined to take medication for erectile dysfunction so officers could photograph his penis for an identification procedure.’

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Daily Telegraph, 7th April 2014

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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