Thursday, 22 August 2013

Miranda 5 ~ Hearing in the High Court

Update 23rd August 2013 - Judgment

Updated at 1700 BST on 22nd August

This morning, the High Court heard an application on behalf of David Miranda for an interim injunction.  The case was before Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker. The Letter before Action (LBA) - published by The Guardian - gave an indication as to the nature of the injunction being sought.

The LBA asked that the Secretary of State and the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis undertake that there will be no inspection, copying, disclosure, transfer, distribution or interference, in any way, with our client's data which was seized pursuant to Schedule 7, pending determination of our client's claim.

Realising that
there may already have been such activity, the LBA went on to seek an undertaking that the product of any inspection or interference will not be disclosed, shared or used further in any way, and will be kept secure pending the outcome of our client's challenge to the legality of the seizure of that data.

A further possibility was that other parties had already been granted possession or access to the data (or copies of it).  Hence, the LBA asked that similar undertakings be obtained from any such parties if you are in a position to do so.   The LBA also sought disclosure of the identity of any such parties so that undertakings could be obtained directly.

The LBA made it clear that if the undertakings were not obtained by '12pm on 20th August' then there would be no option but to seek urgent interim injunctive relief in the High Court and to seek costs on an indemnity basis.

The purpose of any injunction would be to preserve the status quo pending the full hearing and determination of the case.   Costs on an indemnity basis are discussed in the Law Society Gazette 7th May 2009 and also see Civil Procedure Rules Part 44.  

Counsel are Matthew Ryder QC for David Miranda.  Jonathan Laidlaw QC and Steven Kovats QC for the Home Secretary and the Metropolitan Police.

Outcome as reported on Twitter .... more detail to follow ....


The Guardian 22nd August - David Miranda wins partial victory over data seized by Police.

Solicitor comment:

After the hearing, Miranda's solicitor spoke to the media.  The court's reasoned judgment is expected on Friday (23rd August) and, when it has been studied, a decision will be taken as to whether to appeal.  The case returns to court on Friday 29th August.  The Home Secretary had indicated (via counsel) that she may apply to the court for the Justice and Security Act 2013 (Part 2) Closed Material Procedure to be invoked.  The solicitor also said, in response to a question, that she had no knowledge of any criminal investigation.  The initiation of a criminal investigation emerged as part of the High court hearing - Telegraph 22nd August.

Previous posts:

Detention of David Miranda - is this a misuse of State power?

Miranda 2 - The Code of Practice

Miranda 3 - Amendments to the law are already coming

Miranda 4 - Legal Action


  1. Given section 19 (6)(b) of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 (, am I right in thinking that once somebody had obtained Mr Miranda's electronic material -- whether by fair means or foul -- there was no legal provision that could prevent it then being handed to any of the intelligence services, for them to do pretty much whatever they wanted with it?

    Given the breadth of that section, is it the case that any attempt to injunct or limit the security services' actions in respect of the information were essentially inevitably doomed to fail?

    1. The legislation is not the only legal principle at play. Statutory powers must always be exercised for the precise purpose for which they have been enacted and also human rights considerations must always be borne in mind. Having said this, I do not think that any argument was raised concerning the 2008 Act.

    2. Section 19 is referred to in the summary of the Treasury Solicitor Department's letter, at paragraph 28 of yesterday's judgment.