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

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

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

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

High Court orders disclosure of closed judgment in Afghanistan interrogation case – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted October 17th, 2013 in closed material, disclosure, judgments, news, witnesses by sally

“In ‘Evans (No. 1)’, a 2010 case concerning the transfer of suspected insurgents for questioning in certain military centres in Afghanistan, the High Court had ruled, partly in an open judgment, partly in closed proceedings, that UK transfers to NDS Kandahar and NDS Lashkar Gah could proceed without risk of ill treatment (which is contrary to UK policy), but that it would be a breach of the policy and therefore unlawful for transfers to be made to NDS Kabul. It was subsequently discovered that there had not been jurisdiction to follow a closed procedure in that case, but what was done could not be undone, so the confidentiality agreements and the closed judgment remained in force.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 16th October 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

Court case aims to force MoD’s hand with Freedom of Information requests on drones – The Independent

“Britain’s controversial deployment of US-built Reaper drones in Afghanistan will come under scrutiny in court this week in a closed hearing that will see a UK-based drone operator give evidence for the first time.”

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The Independent, 22nd September 2013

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Veils in Court, Grayling and the Left & Legal Aid Anxieties – The Human Rights Roundup

“Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular breakfast cereal variety box of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can find previous roundups here. Post by Sarina Kidd, edited and links compiled by Adam Wagner.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 16th September 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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

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

Litvinenko public inquiry blocked: Diplomacy ‘a factor’ – BBC News

“UK-Russian relations were a ‘factor’ in the government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.”

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BBC News, 19th July 2013

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Part 82: The worrying new rules of the Secret Court – UK Human Rights Blog

“While MPs were dreaming of the imminent long summer break and a possible pay hike, in mid-June the Government produced the draft amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules (‘CPR’) necessary to bring Part 2 of the Justice and Security Act 2013 (‘JSA’) into force. Many – including JUSTICE – consider the Act’s introduction of closed material procedures (‘CMP’) into civil proceedings unfair, unnecessary and unjustified.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 12th July 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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

Bank Mellat v HM Treasury (Liberty intervening) (Nos 1 and 2) – WLR Daily

Bank Mellat v HM Treasury (Liberty intervening) (Nos 1 and 2) [2013] UKSC 38; [2013] UKSC 39; [2013] WLR (D) 244

“The Supreme Court had jurisdiction to entertain a closed material procedure on an appeal from decisions of the courts of England and Wales on applications brought under section 63 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008. On very rare occasions it would be appropriate for the court to go into closed session for that purpose and in the circumstances of the present appeal it would do so.”

WLR Daily, 19th June 2013

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

Bank Mellat (Appellant) v Her Majesty’s Treasury (Respondent) (1); Bank Mellat (Appellant) v Her Majesty’s Treasury (Respondent) (2) – Supreme Court

Posted June 20th, 2013 in appeals, banking, closed material, evidence, law reports, Supreme Court, terrorism by sally

Bank Mellat (Appellant) v Her Majesty’s Treasury (Respondent) (1); Bank Mellat (Appellant) v Her Majesty’s Treasury (Respondent) (2) UKSC 2011/0040 (YouTube)

Supreme Court, 19th June 2013

Source: www.youtube.com/user/UKSupremeCourt

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

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

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

European Court of Justice grapples with secret evidence in UK immigration case – UK Human Rights Blog

“The European Court of Justice has, in recent days, handed down a judgment that hits several hot buttons: UK immigration law, EU human rights, secret evidence, and suspicions of terrorism. In ZZ the Court has had to rule on the use of secret evidence before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 14th June 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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

Closed material and closed proceedings in FOIA litigation: authoritative guidance from the Upper Tribunal – Panopticon

“Closed material and closed proceedings are commonplace in FOIA litigation. As regards the disputed information itself, the need is self-explanatory. But what about closed material other than the disputed information, such as evidence in support of a public authority’s reliance on exemptions? To what extent is it appropriate for FOIA proceedings to be determined by reference to such material which the requester is unable to see and challenge? Also, if the public authority’s concern is with public disclosure of such material, is the solution to be found in a readiness to bring the requester’s legal representatives into a ‘confidentiality ring’? In other words, do natural and open justice demand that requesters’ legal representatives be allowed to attend the closed part of the hearing and see the closed material?”

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Panopticon, 22nd May 2013

Source: www.panopticonblog.com