Case Number. SC/167/2019
In the Special Immigrattion Commisson
7 September 2020
Secretary of State for the Home Department
ON the Appellant’s application (“the application”) for:
- a) an Order pursuant to rule 39(5) (h) of the Special Immigration Appeal Commission (Procedure) Rules 2003 (“the Procedure Rules”) providing for the anonymity of a witness (‘W1’) in this appeal; and
- b) an Order restraining publication pursuant to Section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 of any matter which might, directly or indirectly identify that witness
AND ON the Legal Representatives of the press having been notified of the application by service (by email) of an explanatory note on 19 August 2020 and not having objected to the application
AND ON the Commission considering the Second Witness Statement of Anne McMurdie, the explanatory note, and the written submissions lodged in support of the application in accordance with paragraph 28 of the Commission’s Practice Note on Anonymity Orders and Related Measures (“the Practice Note”)
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
- The Appellant’s witness W1 be granted anonymity in relation to the conduct of these proceedings in the Commission.
- Nothing may be published which, directly or indirectly, identifies W1 as a witness in these proceedings before the Commission.
- There be liberty to apply on 48 hours’ written notice to the Commission, to the Appellant, to the Secretary of State for the Home Department and to the Legal Representatives of the press (as defined in the Practice Note).
- 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 she 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.C3 left the United Kingdom in or around July 2014. In November 2019 the Respondent (‘the Secretary of State’) served a notice of his intention to deprive the Appellant of her British citizenship, and then made an order depriving her of that citizenship. The Secretary of State decided to deprive the Appellant of her citizenship on national security grounds. The Secretary of State assessed that she had travelled to Syria and was aligned with ISIL.
- The Appellant challenges the deprivation of her citizenship on various grounds.
- A hearing of preliminary issues in the deprivation appeal has been listed between 23 and 25 November 2020.
- The Appellant applied for an anonymity order. This was granted on 25 February 2020. The application concerns W1 who (if the application succeeds) will give evidence on the Appellant’s behalf at the November hearing.
- W1 is a member of the Appellant’s family. The Appellant contends that an anonymity order is necessary in order to support the anonymity order which has already been granted to her. She contends that if W1 is identified, that may have the effect of identifying her. Moreover, she contends that the evidence is important to the preliminary issues, and that, if an anonymity order is not made, W1 may decide not to give that evidence, rather than create a risk that the Appellant may be identified.
- The Commission has already decided that the Appellant should have the benefit of an anonymity order in this appeal.
- It is in the interests of justice that the Appellant should be able to present her best case at the preliminary issues hearing. That means that W1 should not be inhibited from giving evidence for fear that the Appellant may be identified.
- The Commission must do its utmost to ensure that the Appellant is able to present her best case. The importance of discharging that duty justifies the encroachment into the principle of open justice which this Order represents and its interference with the Article 10 rights of the media and the public.
4.As this Order supports the anonymity order protecting the Appellant, and is not sought, or made, on independent grounds relating to the safety of W1, there is no reason in principle why it should not be reconsidered, as will the order protecting the Appellant will be, at the end of the appeal proceedings.
BY THE COMMISSION
Dated this 7th day of September 2020