B4 -v- The Secretary of State for the Home Department (anonymity order)
IN THE SPECIAL IMMIGRATION APPEALS COMMISSION
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPEAL UNDER SECTION 2B OF THE SPECIAL IMMIGRATION APPEALS COMMISSION ACT 1997
29 October 2019
The Secretary of State for the Home Department
On the Appellant’s application for an anonymity order pursuant to rule 39(5)(h) of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Procedure) Rules 2003, and for an order restraining publication pursuant to section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 (‘the application’);
On the Legal Representatives’ having been notified of the application on 13 September 2019 by email;
On considering the witness statement of Daniel Furner, the Explanatory Note and written submissions lodged in accordance with paragraph 28 of the Commission’s Practice Note on Anonymity Orders and Related Measures (‘the Practice Note’)
And on the Appellant undertaking to keep the Commission and the Secretary of State informed of any matter which may affect the continued need for this order;
It is ordered that:
1. The Appellant be granted anonymity in relation to the conduct of proceedings in the Commission and be known in these proceedings as B4.
2. Nothing may be published which, directly or indirectly, identifies him as an appellant in these proceedings before the Commission.
3. There be liberty to apply on 48 hours’ written notice to the Commission, to the Appellant, to the Secretary of State and to the Legal Representatives (as defined in the Practice Note).
4. This order continues until the OPEN judgment has been handed down in this appeal, or further order in the meantime, unless the Appellant indicates to the Commission, as soon as the OPEN judgment is circulated in draft, that he intends to apply for it to continue after the OPEN judgment is handed down, and applies to the Commission, before that judgment is handed down, for directions for the determination of any such application.
1. B4 is a national of Libya and lives there now. Conditions in Libya are unstable and violent; various armed groups compete for power. All sides use extreme levels of violence. Some are opposed to Al Quaeda.
2. The allegations made by the Secretary of State against B4 include that he travelled to Syria, aligned with Al Quaeda, fought there, and is a risk to national security.
3. One of his grounds of appeal is that the decision to deprive him of his British citizenship exposes him to a risk of ill treatment in Libya which would breach articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the ECHR’), and/or that it would breach the Secretary of State’s analogous policy about article 2 and article 3 risks.
4. His appeal is stayed at the moment while he applies for legal aid.
5. His grounds for applying for an anonymity order are that it is necessary to protect him, and his extended family, friends and supporters in Libya, from an increased risk of exposure to such ill treatment in Libya if his identity and the nature of his case were well known, to protect him (and his family, most of whom live in the United Kingdom) from a similar risk were he to return to the United Kingdom and/or were the case to be publicised here; and to guard against any risk of jeopardising any future criminal trial.
6. The gravity of the risks which B4 faces justify the encroachment into the principle of open justice which this order makes. They also outweigh the ECHR rights of the press and public to be informed about B4’s identity.