Closed material application accepted in interests of justice


Re: Rahmatullah v Ministry of Defence & Ors [2017] EWHC 547 (QB)

The defendants applied for a declaration under the Justice and Security Act 2013, s 6, that these were proceedings in which a closed material application could be made. The Court made declarations in the cases of Rahmatullah, Amanatullah, HTF and ZMS but not in the case of XYZ. In its judgment (given in open) the Court noted that for the successful applications, there was at least some sensitive material which was relevant to the issues in dispute and so would fall to be disclosed, subject to the possibility of claiming public interest immunity. There were no practical alternatives to a closed material procedure. In the case of XYZ, the documents relied on didn’t specifically relate to XYZ and it wasn’t apparent that the use of such material in open court would be damaging to national security. As such there were no grounds for making the declaration.

Richard Hermer QC, Phillippa Kaufmann QC, Ben Silverstone and Darryl Hutcheon were involved in this case.