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22 August 2013

High Court to hear Miranda injunction application today

2 mins

Case ref CO/11732/2013 The Queen on the application of Miranda v (1) Secretary of State for the Home Department and (2) Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis

Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker will today hear an urgent application for an injunction to protect Bindmans client's sensitive journalistic material, which was seized at the weekend through a highly questionable use of Schedule 7 Terrorism Act powers.

The hearing is today, 23 August, 10.30am at Court 3, Royal Courts of Justice.

Bindmans solicitor Gwendolen Morgan, who is representing Mr Miranda, said:

“In view of the Defendants’ refusals to provide any undertakings in relation to the Claimant’s data we have been left with no option but to issue this claim and seek expedition including an application for interim relief.  The purpose of these proceedings is to protect the confidentiality of the sensitive journalistic material that was seized from the Claimant.  

“Confidentiality, once lost, can clearly never be restored. If interim relief is not granted then the Claimant is likely to suffer irremediable prejudice, as are the other journalistic sources whose confidential information is contained in the material seized by the Defendants.  On the other hand, imposing a temporary restriction on the Defendants’ use of the Claimant’s data in order to ‘hold the ring’ pending a substantive hearing is unlikely to prejudice either of the Defendants.”

Supporting the case, Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger said:

“I am extremely concerned that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act (TA) is being used improperly to circumvent the protection of journalistic material. For example, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) includes protection for journalistic material under section 14 (‘special procedure material’) requiring cetain conditions to be met before a person can be compelled to hand over (or police allowed to seize) such material.  It appears that the authorities sought to rely on me as editor that the Guardian’s publications or investigations had amounted to terrorism-related offences.”

Liberty (the National Council for Civil Liberties) has written to the Court asking to intervene in the litigation.


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