Metropolitan Police win Miranda terrorism case in the Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal today handed down judgment in Miranda v (1) Secretary of State for the Home Department and (2) Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2016] EWCA Civ 6 (Lord Dyson MR, Richards and Floyd LJJ).  The Court dismissed Mr Miranda’s appeal against the decision of the Divisional Court that the Met’s use of powers under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to stop, detain and examine him at Heathrow Airport (when he was in possession of material stolen by Edward Snowden from the US National Security Agency) was lawful.  So far as concerns the Met, the Court of Appeal held that: (i) the Met exercised that power for a permitted and entirely lawful purpose, (ii) the Met’s use of Schedule 7 powers was justified and proportionate, notwithstanding that it was an interference with press freedom (the Court holding that the evidence placed before the Court by the Met was “compelling” in this regard), and (iii)Mr Miranda was wrong to suggest that the Met ought to have sought orders under Schedule 5 of the 2000 Act, because this would have been less effective having regard to the seriousness of the security interests potentially at stake.  In the circumstances, the Met’s exercise of these powers on Mr Miranda was lawful.  The Court also held that the power conferred by paragraph 2(1) of Schedule 7 was incompatible with Art 10 of the Convention in relation to journalistic material – it will be for Parliament to remedy this situation.
 
A copy of the judgment can be found here.
Jason Beer QC acted for the Metropolitan Police