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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Historical first as Supreme Court boots Iranian bank out of secret hearing – UK Human Rights Blog

“Extraordinary developments in the Supreme Court today as the court, for the first time in its history, conducted a secret hearing during which one of the parties, an Iranian Bank, was not allowed to take part. Full background to the case, Bank Mellat (Appellant) v HM Treasury (Respondent) is here.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 21st March 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

Supreme Court sits in secret for first time in history – The Independent

“The highest court in the land controversially sat in secret for the first time in its history today but insisted it had reached the decision with ‘great reluctance’.”

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The Independent, 21st March 2013

Source: www.independent.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

Philippe Sands quits Lib Dems in protest at support for secret courts – The Guardian

Posted March 12th, 2013 in bills, closed material, news, political parties, private hearings by sally

“The prominent international lawyer Prof Philippe Sands QC has resigned from the Liberal Democrats in protest at the leadership’s support for expanding the use of secret courts.”

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The Guardian, 11th March 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Related link: I’m leaving the Liberal Democrats too

Why secret justice is bad for Britain – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted March 5th, 2013 in bills, civil justice, closed material, news, private hearings by sally

“As Parliament prepares to vote on the Justice and Security Bill today, Terry McGuinness outlines why Closed Material Procedures (CMP) are an affront to open justice.”

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Garden Court Chambers Blog, 4th March 2013

Source: www.gclaw.wordpress.com

Secret court hearing plans pushed through by government – The Guardian

Posted March 5th, 2013 in bills, civil justice, closed material, news, private hearings by sally

“The government pushed through its plans for secret court hearings on Monday night, defeating amendments tabled by the Labour frontbench with significant majorities.”

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The Guardian, 4th March 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk