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Matrix Judgments & Commentary

Matrix’s Legal Support Service produce summaries of cases that Matrix members are involved in, which you can find below. You can browse these through the search function on the right.

Application to amend defamation claim denied

Lokhova v Longmuir [2016] EWHC 2579 (QB)

The Claimant complained of 7 defamatory statements in 2011, and sought to add 3 further causes of action on the grounds that it would be in the interests of justice, and in accordance with the overriding claim. The claim failed and the Court highlighted that under CPR 17.4 it was at their discretion to refuse permission, even if the threshold criteria is satisfied.

Appellant could not be deported where discriminatory laws had denied him British citizenship

R (Johnson) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] UKSC 56

The appellant’s liability to deportation on the grounds that he was a ‘foreign criminal’ was unlawful discrimination in breach of the ECHR. It was contrary to ECHR, art 14 that the appellant should be treated differently because he was born out-of-wedlock. The Supreme Court quashed the Secretary of State’s certification that his claim was unfounded and made a declaration under the Human Rights Act 1998, s 4 that the ‘good character’ citizenship requirement was contrary to ECHR.

Common law duty of confidentiality owed by HRMC

R (Ingenious Media Holdings plc) & Anor v Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs [2016] UKSC 54

Concerns the scope of the duty of confidentiality owed by HMRC in respect of the affairs of taxpayers. The Times published two articles on film schemes and tax avoidance which identified the claimant company’s CEO as one of two main providers of film investment schemes in the UK and informed readers that such schemes had enabled investors to avoid at least £5 million in tax. The article was based on an “off the record” interview that the Permanent Secretary for tax in HMRC gave.

Held: public bodies were not immune from the ordinary application of the common law, including the law of confidentiality. It was a well-established principle of the law of confidentiality that where information of a personal or confidential nature was obtained or received in the exercise of a legal power/furtherance of a public duty, the recipient would owe a duty to the person from whom the information was received or it relates (in this case, the taxpayer). Although this principle would be overridden by explicit statutory provision, in enacting the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005, Parliament cannot have envisaged that it was authorising HMRC officials a wide ranging discretion to disclose confidential information, limited only by the rationality test applied in judicial review claims, as this would significantly undermine the primary duty of confidentiality in s 18(1) of the Act. The correct interpretation of s 18(2)(a)(i) was that it permits disclosure to the extent reasonably necessary for HMRC to fulfil its primary function. The fact that the Permanent Secretary did not anticipate his comments being reported was not a justification for making them.

Intelligence Agencies acted contrary to ECHR in collection of bulk data

Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs & Ors [2016] UKIPTrib 15_110-CH

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal held that the Security and Intelligence Agencies had acted unlawfully and contrary to ECHR, art 8 in their collection of bulk communications data and bulk personal data. Jonathan Glasson QC was Counsel to the Tribunal.

Challenge to CPS Victims’ Right of Review Guidance

R (Chaudhry) v Director of Public Prosecutions [2016] EWHC 2447 (Admin)

The claimant challenged the lawfulness of the CPS Victims’ Right of Review Guidance, seeking declaratory relief and the quashing of para 11(iii), which stated that a review of a decision not to prosecute by the CPS would not be taken where charges were “brought… against some (but not all) possible suspects.”