5 Essex Court

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1 Mar 19 Back to Listing

Undercover Policing Inquiry -  Judicial Review

Supperstone J this morning refused permission to judicially review the decision of Inquiry Chairman, Sir John Mitting, to restrict the cover names of former undercover officers in the Special Demonstration Squad and National Public Order Intelligence Unit. The Claimants sought to challenge the decisions made in respect of 11 SDS officers and 12 NPOIU officers.

The thirty-two page judgment is a detailed analysis of the grounds on which restriction orders may be granted in a Public Inquiry. Supperstone J held that the real substance of the Claimants’ challenge was their disagreement with the balance struck by Sir John in undertaking exercises of discretionary judgment. This disagreement was not sufficient to render it arguable that the decisions were wrong in law. Among the other findings made by the High Court, it was confirmed that there is no absolute duty to give reasons for a restriction order where to do so would defeat the object of the order.

A number of members of Chambers acted for various Interested Parties: Jeremy Johnson QC (for 6 NPOIU officers), Alan Payne and Aaron Moss (for 1 NPOIU officer), and Claire Palmer (as junior counsel in respect of the 11 SDS officers and 1 NPOIU officer).