Application for further disclosure denied by Court in a damages claim as there was a risk to national security


Re: CF v The Ministry of Defence & Ors [2014] EWHC 3171 (QB)

The claimant had alleged that he had been detained, tortured and mistreated in Somaliland and that the defendants were complicit in his mistreatment. He was in the process of bringing a claim for damages. The defendants had successfully obtained a declaration that a closed material procedure could be used pursuant to the Justice and Security Act 2013, s 6. The declaration was given because the publication of materials on which the claimant sought to rely would damage national security. The claimant sought further disclosure following the s 6 declaration.

The Court refused the application for further disclosure. The Court noted that in a case against the state which did not directly affect the liberty of the subject, there was no irreducible minimum of disclosure of the state’s case which the court would require. The Court noted that its role was to balance maximising the fairness of the trial and the preservation of national security. The Court concluded that it was not possible to release more material without damaging national security.

Richard Hermer QC was involved in this case.