Bal and others -v- Secretary of State for Defence and another (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Case No: CO/2996/2022

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

7 October 2022

The Honourable Mr Justice Lane

The King on the application of Bal, Bal 1, Bal 2, Bal 3 and Bal 4
Secretary of State for Defence and Secretary of State for the Home Department
National Crime Agency (interested party)


UPON considering the claimants’ application issued on 30 September 2022 (1) for permission to adduce and rely upon the three witness statements attached to the notice of application and (2) for the maker of one of these witness statements (who has not hitherto sought to give evidence in these proceedings) to be made the subject of an anonymity order
AND UPON considering the objection to the application by email dated 5 October 2022) and the claimants’ response (by email dated 6 October 2022)

Order by the Honourable Mr Justice Lane

  1. The claimants have permission to adduce the three witness statements attached to their application of 30 September 2022.
  2. The witness who has adduced evidence for the first time in these proceedings shall be known as XY and, pursuant to CPR 39.2, there shall be no publication, without the leave of the Court, of the name or address of that witness or of any other particulars likely to lead to their identification or of the claimants.
  3. Costs in the case


Whilst I accept that the evidence in the witness statements was not before the defendant at the time she took her decisions, the dynamic nature of these unusual judicial reviews involving Afghan nationals is such that a degree of latitude is appropriate. The defendant has time to consider and react to the contents of the statements, which concern an issue (credibility) that was not raised until the recent review decisions. It will be for the Court to decide what, if any, weight to give to the contents of the statements; but to exclude them at this stage would not be in the interests of the overriding objective. That said, there is a compelling rationale for anonymising XY.