Prosecutors ‘behaving ludicrously’ in case of alleged undercover officer – The Guardian

Posted January 28th, 2014 in assault, miscarriage of justice, news, police, private hearings, prosecutions by sally

‘Prosecutors have been accused of behaving “ludicrously” by concealing the cause of a miscarriage of justice in which an undercover police officer is alleged to have used his fake identity in court to hide his covert infiltration.’

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The Guardian, 27th January 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Surveillance tribunal may allow publicity – The Guardian

“The new president of the court that examines complaints about the intelligence services and government surveillance has indicated he may publish advance notice of its public hearings for the first time.”

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The Guardian, 14th October 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Behind closed doors: how to avoid the problems of private proceedings – Sports Law Bulletin from Blackstone Chambers

Posted October 11th, 2013 in news, private hearings, sport, tribunals by sally

“Arbitration is increasingly sport’s forum of choice for determining disputes. But the widespread adoption of this private and confidential process brings problems of its own. For example, how can parties ensure consistency of decision-making if they are unable to access decisions that have gone before? And what is to be done if different parties have the same dispute with a governing body, but there is no consent that the disputes be heard together?”

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Sports Law Bulletin from Blackstone Chambers, 10th October 2013

Source: www.sportslawbulletin.org

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The Curious Case of Bank Mellat – Dyers Chambers

“On 19 June 2013, the Supreme Court gave judgment in the case of Bank Mellat v HM Treasury (No. 1) and (No. 2). Gavin Irwin reviews the latest developments in the deployment of sanctions against Iran and the tensions that can arise between international organisations, nation states and commercial entities.”

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Dyers Chambers, 11th July 2013

Source: www.dyerschambers.com

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Christopher Forsyth: Principle or Pragmatism: Closed Material Procedure in the Supreme Court

“In Al Rawi & Ors v The Security Service & Ors [2011] UKSC 34; [2012] 1 AC 531 the claimants (respondents in the Supreme Court) were bringing civil claims for damages against the defendants (appellants in the Supreme Court) alleging complicity by the defendants in their mistreatment by foreign powers (including detention at Guantanamo Bay). The defendants as part of their defence wished to place before the court ‘security sensitive material’ – presumably the evidence of intelligence agents, or similar, denying the complicity – which for security reasons could not be disclosed to the claimants. Thus the defendants submitted that the court hold a “closed material procedure”. They envisaged that the evidence would be placed before the courts in closed session, i.e. a session from which the claimants and their representatives (and the public) were excluded. In the closed session the claimants would be represented by “special advocates” appointed by the court who would have access to the evidence but would not be able to take instructions from the claimants. Such procedures are controversial since they threaten the fundamental principles of open justice and natural justice. On the other hand, the national interest would doubtless be impaired, in some cases, if intelligence agents gave evidence and their methods and secrets were exposed in open court.”

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UK Constitutional Law Group, 29th July 2013

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Global Torch Ltd v Apex Global Management Ltd and others; Apex Global Management Ltd v Fi Call Ltd and others – WLR Daily

Global Torch Ltd v Apex Global Management Ltd and others; Apex Global Management Ltd v Fi Call Ltd and others [2013] EWCA Civ 819; [2013] WLR (D) 276

“The court would only depart from open justice if strictly necessary. An application to depart from the principle of open justice would fall to be decided by reference to established principles, whether the proceedings were at an interim or final stage. A significant erosion of the open justice principle could not be justified where adequate protection existed in the form of vindication of the innocent through the judicial process to trial. The public airing of allegations which might embarrass a litigant was not a good reason to close the doors of the court.”

WLR Daily, 10th July 2013

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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CoA rejects Saudi bid to have case held in camera – The Lawyer

Posted July 11th, 2013 in appeals, human rights, news, private hearings, royal family by sally

The Court of Appeal has refused to quash an order preventing two Saudi princes from having their case heard behind closed doors.

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The Lawyer, 10th July 2013

Source: www.thelawyer.com

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Bank Mellat: Closed Material Procedures and FOIA – Panopticon

“Last week, the Supreme Court gave judgment in Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury (no.1) [2013] UKSC 38. The Bank Mellat case involved financial restrictions imposed by HMT on the Bank under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 (“the 2008 Act”), on the basis that it enabled funding for Iran’s nuclear weapons programme. The High Court and Court of Appeal had both adopted a closed material procedure (“CMP”) – i.e. a procedure in which the court sits in private, and hears evidence and/or submissions without one party either being present or seeing the material – in order to consider sensitive material adduced by HMT which could not be disclosed to the Bank. They had specific statutory authority to do so under the 2008 Act. The Supreme Court did not have such authority. The relevant questions were whether it was possible for the Supreme Court to adopt a CMP on appeal, in the absence of specific statutory provision; and if so, whether it was appropriate to do so in that particular case. The Supreme Court was faced with the difficulty of reconciling two strong but opposing interests. On the one hand, it was important that the Court should be able to see and consider any relevant material before the High Court and Court of Appeal. On the other, the Supreme Court itself in Al Rawi v Security Service [2012] 1 AC 531 had uncompromisingly set its face against any derogation from the open justice principle. The Supreme Court was divided; but the majority considered that the Court had implied authority to adopt a CMP under its powers conferred by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, where the lower courts had themselves used a CMP. Nevertheless, the Court was uncomfortable about doing so, and expressed that discomfort in strong terms.”

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Panopticon, 25th June 2013

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Supreme Court – Measures against Iranian bank unlawful, and the secret hearing ruling – UK Human Rights Blog

“Two sets of judgments today from a 9-judge Supreme Court in the Bank Mellat case. The first explains why the Court adopted a secret procedure in the absence of the Bank (i.e. a Closed Material Procedure) but added that the whole palaver in fact added nothing to their knowledge. The second concludes that financial restrictions imposed in 2009 on an Iranian Bank which effectively excluded it from the UK financial market were arbitrary and irrational and were also procedurally unfair.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 19th June 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Supreme court quashes Iran bank sanctions and criticises secret hearings – The Guardian

Posted June 19th, 2013 in banking, closed material, Iran, news, nuclear weapons, private hearings, sanctions by sally

“The government’s enthusiasm for secret courts has been set back after the UK’s most senior judges quashed anti-terrorist sanctions imposed on an Iranian bank and dismissed the intelligence involved as insignificant.”

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The Guardian, 19th June 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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What are secret courts and what do they mean for UK justice? – The Guardian

Posted June 14th, 2013 in closed material, intelligence services, news, private hearings by sally

“The Justice and Security Act was given parliamentary approval on 25 April this year. One of the main justifications for expanding so-called secret courts was to prevent intelligence provided by US sources being exposed in British courts.”

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The Guardian, 14th June 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Secret Courts – BBC Unreliable Evidence

“Leading human rights barrister Dinah Rose challenges cabinet minister Ken Clarke over the Government’s extension of the use of secret courts.”

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BBC Unreliable Evidence, 5th June 2013

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Woman jailed by ‘secret court’ for taking father out of care home talks for first time of her ordeal – Daily Telegraph

“A woman jailed by a ‘secret court; for trying to take her dying father out of his care home and fly him to Turkey has spoken about her ordeal for the first time.”

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Daily Telegraph, 30th May 2013

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Litvinenko inquest close to collapse after coroner rules crucial evidence secret – The Guardian

“The inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko is close to collapse after a coroner partially upheld an application by William Hague to keep crucial evidence secret.”

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The Guardian, 17th May 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Court of Protection openness call by justice secretary – BBC News

Posted May 2nd, 2013 in Court of Protection, family courts, news, private hearings by sally

“The justice secretary has asked a senior judge to consider whether the court dealing with the affairs of mentally incapable people in England and Wales can become more open.”

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BBC News, 2nd May 2013

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Fancy having a Judge in your living room? – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted April 2nd, 2013 in jurisdiction, local government, news, private hearings, social services by sally

“Thanks to the English High Court, state policing of personal relationships in Britain is on the rise.”

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Hardwicke Chambers, 22nd March 2013

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk

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Last-ditch bid to dilute secret courts plan fails – The Guardian

Posted March 27th, 2013 in bills, closed material, evidence, judiciary, news, private hearings by tracey

“A new generation of secret courts will be established in law within weeks after a last-ditch bid to water down controversial government plans failed in the House of Lords.”

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The Guardian, 27th March 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Justice and Security Bill: The “Secret Courts” Endgame? – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted March 26th, 2013 in bills, closed material, news, parliament, private hearings by sally

“Today we will see the beginning of the end of the passage of the Justice and Security Bill through Parliament: the process commonly known as parliamentary ‘ping-pong’.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 26th March 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Lords to vote on restoring safeguards to plan for secret courts – The Guardian

Posted March 26th, 2013 in bills, closed material, news, parliament, private hearings by sally

“Peers vote on Tuesday on whether to restore extra safeguards to the justice and security bill – amendments that the government has warned will make the expansion of secret courts unworkable.”

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The Guardian, 26th March 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Bank Mellat (Appellant) v HM Treasury (Respondent) – Supreme Court

“Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, made the following statement in open court this afternoon:

‘Yesterday morning, having heard full argument on the issue the previous day, we decided, for reasons to be given later – and, it should be added, by a majority of six to three – that we had power to consider the closed judgment of Mr Justice Mitting (‘the closed judgment’) in this case. This would involve part of this hearing being conducted in private without Bank Mellat or its representatives being present. We also indicated that, on the basis of the arguments we had so far heard, we were not persuaded that it was necessary to take such a course.’”

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Supreme Court, 21st March 2013

Source: www.supremecourt.gov.uk

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