Judge calls for more openness in controversial secret court – Daily Telegraph

‘District Judge Anselm Eldergill says Court of Protection should normally be open to the Press, in moves first mooted almost a year ago by another senior judge.’

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Daily Telegraph, 17th October 2014

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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‘Secret’ terror trial begins at Old Bailey – BBC News

Posted October 14th, 2014 in closed material, news, private hearings, reporting restrictions, terrorism, trials by sally

‘A jury has been sworn in at the Old Bailey for a terror trial that will be partially held in secret.’

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BBC News, 13th October 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Children: Private Law Update – Family Law Week

‘Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings considers recent judgments in private law children cases, including the President’s judgment on legal aid funding in Q v Q.’

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Family Law Week, 19th September 2014

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

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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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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 trial of terror suspects delayed until October – The Guardian

Posted June 17th, 2014 in delay, news, private hearings, reporting restrictions, terrorism, trials by sally

‘The trial of two terrorist suspects, due to be held substantially in secret, has been delayed until October.’

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The Guardian, 16th June 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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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’ terror trial ruling due at Old Bailey – BBC News

‘The Court of Appeal is to rule on whether a trial of two terrorist suspects can be heard in secret.’

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BBC News, 12th June 2014

Source: www.bbc.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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Secret terror trial is threat to open justice, human rights campaigners warn – The Guardian

‘A major criminal trial involving two men charged with serious terrorism offences could be held entirely in secret for the first time in modern British legal history.’

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The Guardian, 4th June 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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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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