AO -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Claim number: CO/1553/2023

In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
Administrative Court

26 June 2023


Sir Duncan Ouseley sitting as a High Court Judge


The King on the application of


Secretary of State for the Home Department


On an application by the Defendant and Claimant for various directions and orders
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant and the Defendant
ORDER by SIR DUNCAN OUSELEY sitting as a High Court Judge

  1. The case shall be known and listed as AO
  2. Time for the filing and service of the AoS and Summary Grounds of Defence is extended to 5 July 2023. Upon expiry of the time so extended, the papers shall be sent to the single Judge for consideration of permission and further directions.
  3. No order is made on the application to adduce the evidence of Rosalind Bragg or Dr Robert O’Neill.
  4. The case merits expedition.


  1. Anonymity is justified in view of the nature of the claim and the Claimants.
  2. I accept that, in the long run, it is better to have the Defendant’s basic position on the claim made clear as soon as possible. I did consider whether to grant permission, as it seems to me that there is unlikely to be anything in the nature of a “knock-out” blow forthcoming, and to permit the Defendant to appear without having served either AOS or SGD, while extending time for service of detailed grounds of defence and evidence to, say, 49 days from the date of order, as opposed to the 35 days which it would have had under Part 54. But I see greater merit, in the conduct of the litigation, in ascertaining which issues are contested and which are not, and on what general basis. This will affect directions to be given. If the grant of permission is to be opposed, the grounds will have to be more than somewhat persuasive.
  3. In providing its AoS/SGD the Defendant shall state whether or not it objects to the receipt of the evidence of Ms Bragg and Dr O’Neill, with reasons for the objection if any. I do not think that the case can proceed in an orderly fashion if the matter is left as the Defendant suggests for consideration at trial de bene esse. All parties need to know, not least the Defendant, whether material of that nature can be relied on and if it is to be answered. It is not obviously irrelevant. I observe however that the evidence of Ms Bragg offers opinions, and permission for its admission ought to be applied for as expert evidence. It lacks the necessary declaration for that purpose.
  4. It would be useful, in the interests of expedition, a vague enough concept, if the Defendant included in its AOS, its suggested timetable for the further progress of this claim, to which the Claimant responded as rapidly as possible, so that that response , not a reply to the SGD, could accompany the Bundle for the consideration of permission and directions.