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

Abdel Hakim Belhaj torture case may be heard in secret court – The Guardian

“One of the first cases to be heard by the government’s new generation of secret courts may be a claim brought by a Libyan dissident who was kidnapped along with his pregnant wife and flown to one of Muammar Gaddafi’s prisons.”

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The Guardian, 21st May 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Fair inquest for Litvinenko impossible, judge warns – The Independent

“Hearing in danger of collapse after British Government’s accused of evidence cover-up.”

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The Independent, 17th May 2013

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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

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

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

Ken Clarke ‘misled’ parliament over secret courts bill – The Guardian

Posted March 25th, 2013 in bills, closed material, habeas corpus, news by sally

“Conservative cabinet minister Ken Clarke has been accused of misleading parliament as confusion mounts over the government’s plans to introduce secret courts ahead of this week’s crucial vote in the House of Lords.”

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The Guardian, 24th March 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Lords plan parliamentary ‘ping pong’ to win battle over secret courts – The Guardian

Posted March 21st, 2013 in bills, closed material, news, parliament, private hearings by sally

“Peers intend to change justice and security bill as it shuttles between houses of parliament, government is warned.”

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The Guardian, 21st March 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Supreme court rules it can examine secret judgements by lower courts – The Guardian

Posted March 20th, 2013 in closed material, evidence, news, private hearings, Supreme Court by tracey

“The supreme court has ruled for the first time in its history that it can examine secret judgments given by lower courts.”

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The Guardian, 19th March 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Supreme Court could use secret evidence in landmark case – Daily Telegraph

“The Supreme Court could use secret evidence in a ruling for the first time in a landmark case this week despite previously banning such material from civil courts.”

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Daily Telegraph, 18th March 2013

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk