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22 August 2013

Court rule on Miranda injunction application

3 mins

Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice this afternoon, Bindmans solicitor Gwendolen Morgan commented on the Court’s judgment on David Miranda’s application for an urgent interim injunction and expedition:

“At its heart, this claim involves the seizure of journalistic material and the Court accepted today that in order for the Home office and police to look at that material there has to be a genuine threat to national security.

“The Home Secretary and police now have seven days to try to prove that there is a genuine threat to national security, rather than simply make assertions, as they have done today.

“The undertakings that the police sought were stopped in their tracks and some of the bases on which the police sought to justify their position were roundly rejected.

“We therefore consider this to be a partial victory.  We hope to have the full reasons for the Court’s judgment tomorrow afternoon.  We will then make a decision with our client about whether to appeal the judgment on interim relief and whether we need to say that the relief provided does not go far enough.”

The terms of the injunction made by the Court are as follows:

“The Defendants are not to inspect, copy, disclose, transfer, distribute (whether domestically or to any foreign government or agency) or interfere with the materials obtained from Mr Miranda under Sched 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 save,

  1. For the purpose of the protection of national security, including by preventing or avoiding the endangering of life of any person; and
  2. For the purpose of investigating whether Mr Miranda is a person who is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”


Further notes

The interim relief application in The Queen (on the application of Miranda) v (1) Secretary of State for the Home Department and (2) Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis CO/11732/2013 was heard this morning before Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker.

They have indicated that they hope to hand down the reasons for their judgement on the interim relief application tomorrow afternoon, 23 August 2013. A full hearing of the interim relief hearing is listed for next Friday, 30 August. The Home Office and Secretary State have to provide evidence before then explaining why it is necessary for them to continue to consider the documents seized from Mr Miranda on 18 August.

The substantive hearing of the judicial review claim is currently likely to take place in October.

Counsel for the Secretary of State indicated at today’s hearing that they may apply to use controversial Closed Material Procedures, meaning that the case would be heard in secret and that the Government’s evidence would not even be made available to Mr Miranda.

David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation has written to the Home Secretary this afternoon to inform her that he shall be reviewing and reporting on the detention of David Miranda under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act.  The remit and purpose of the review is set out in his letter here.

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