16 October 2012: the Divisional Court confirms that only in exceptional circumstances will it be ‘necessary’ to disclose material under r.12 of the Inquiry Rules 2006 to a determine an application for a restriction order under s.19 of the Inquiries Ac

Anne Studd QC and Alan Payne were instructed by the MPS who sought to challenge a decision by the Chairman to the Inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney that it was necessary to disclose to a core participant, material in relation to which a restriction order was being sought, in order to determine whether to make the order.

The Divisional Court accepted the MPS’s arguments that the discretion under rule 12(4)(a) of the Inquiry Rules 2006 needed to be tightly construed and that it would be rare that disclosure of material would be ‘necessary’ in order to determine a PII application under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 for a restriction order. On the particular facts, however, the Court concluded that it had been open to the Chairman to conclude that disclosure was ‘necessary’.

A copy of the judgment can be found at: R (on the application of the Metropolitan Police Service) v The Chairman of the Inquiry into the Death of Azelle Rodney & Ors [2012] EWHA 2783 (Admin):http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2012/2783.html

Anne Studd QC practices in all areas of police law, and has extensive experience in acting for police forces in high profile inquests and public inquiries.

Alan Payne has extensive experience in all areas of public law, police law and is on the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel.