High Court grants permission for statement in open court in data protection case


The High Court has granted permission for a claimant to make a statement in open court (SIOC) in a data protection claim for the first time.

This brings to an end a long running debate among practitioners about whether SIOCs are available for other causes of action than libel, slander, malicious falsehood and misuse of private or confidential information, which are expressly referred to in Practice Direction 53, rule 6.1.

Sooka v Palihawadana is a data protection claim relating to the publication of inaccurate personal information that was harmful to the claimant’s reputation. All other elements of a settlement had been agreed, so the Claimant sought permission to make a joint SIOC, arguing that the Court has a general power to grant a SIOC in an appropriate case and is not limited to the causes of action in Practice Direction 53.

After considering the Claimant’s skeleton argument on the Court’s powers in relation to SIOCs, on 28 November Mr Justice Griffiths granted the Claimant’s application. The Claimant was represented by Guy Vassall-Adams KC, instructed by Hickman and Rose.