Former cabinet ministers back public interest defence campaign


Two former cabinet ministers, David Davis (the former Brexit secretary) and Alistair Carmichael (the former Scotland secretary) have publicly backed a campaign to introduce a public interest defence as part of a government reform of the Official Secrets Acts. The Law Commission has recommended, to ensure compliance with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the introduction of a general public interest defence when the government updates the Official Secrets Acts in the forthcoming Espionage Bill.

Alex Bailin QC and Jessica Jones are working on the campaign together with a cross-disciplinary team at Mishcon de Reya and political consultancy agency Powerscourt. The campaign has submitted evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

They are funded by a philanthropic business entrepreneur, Janus Friis.

Useful links:

For The Times coverage of the former ministers’ announcement see here.

For a copy of the campaign’s briefing paper see here.