Case no: CO/71/2023
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
12 January 2023
The Honourable Mr Justice Ritchie
The King on the application of
LND1 (and family LND2; LND3; LND4; LND5; LND6)
Secretary of State for the Home Department
Secretary of State for the Ministry of Defence
and Interested Party
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office
Notification of the Judge’s decision on the application
for permission to apply for judicial review (CPR 54.11, 54.12)
BEFORE the Honourable Mr Justice Ritchie sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand, London on 11 January 2023.
FOLLOWING consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimants which include the Claim Form for judicial review, the grounds and evidence in support.
UPON CONSIDERING applications for anonymity and expedition by the Claimants.
AND UPON the Court considering that the Claimants are at risk to their lives if their identities are made public.
AND UPON IT APPEARING that non-disclosure of the identity of the Claimants is necessary in order to protect the interests of the Claimants.
AND PURSUANT to rule 39.2(4) of the Civil Procedure Rules and section II of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and rules 5.4C and 5.4D of the Civil Procedure Rules.
NOW IT IS ORDERED IN RELATION TO ANONYMITY:
Identity and address
- That the identity of the Claimants shall not be disclosed.
- That reporting restrictions apply as to the disclosing of any information that may lead to the subsequent identification of the Claimants. The publication of the name and address of the Claimants is prohibited.
Documents filed in future
- That the names of Claimants shall be described in all statements of case and other documents to be filed or served in the proceedings in future and in any judgment or order in the proceedings and in any report of the proceedings by the press or otherwise as “LND1-6”.
- That the address of the Claimants shall be stated in all statements of case and other documents to be filed or served in the proceedings as the address of the Claimants’ solicitors.
- That in so far as necessary, any statement of case or other document disclosing the Claimants’ names or address already filed in the proceedings shall be replaced by a document describing such name or address in anonymised form as above.
- That the original of any such document disclosing the name or address of the Claimants on the Court file (digital or paper) shall be marked “confidential: not to be opened without the permission of a Master or High Court Judge”.
- That a non-party may not inspect or obtain a copy of any document on or from the Court’s paper or digital files (other than this order duly anonymised as directed) without the permission of a Master or District Judge. Any application for such permission must be made on 14 days notice to the Claimants’ solicitor or deputy and the Court will effect service.
- The Court’s paper and digital files are to be marked “subject to an Anonymity Order”.
- That the Defendants may apply under rule 23.10 to have this Order set aside or varied.
- That any non-party affected by this Order may apply on notice to all parties to have this Order set aside or varied.
- A copy of this Order in its anonymised form shall be published on the Judicial website of the High Court (www.judicicary.uk) by a Court officer sending that copy by email to the Judicial Office at email@example.com.
Now it is hereby further ordered that:
- These applications are suitable for urgent consideration. The time for the Defendants to file their acknowledgments of service is abridged to 14 days after the service on each of the Claim Form.
- The applications for permission (and further urgent listing if permission is granted) shall be put before a Judge as soon as is reasonably practicable after 14 days after the date of service of the claim form on each Defendant.
- The Claimant shall forthwith inform the Court office of the date of service of the claim form on each Defendant so that the Court can calculate the relevant date for the papers to be placed before a Judge.
- Liberty to the Defendants to apply to vary or set aside this order on 48 hours written notice to the other parties.
- Costs reserved.
- Before the fall of Kabul in late August 2021 the 1st Claimant was, on his case, a High Justice of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Supreme Court. He was also Director General of Investigation and Studies at the Supreme Court for some years. In his judicial role 2008-2009 he sat in a terrorism court; between 2010 and 2012 he was chair of the terrorism court called Diwan 2. He asserts that he sentenced many Taliban fighters to imprisonment and some to execution for terrorism crimes and anti-Nato attacks. Between 2019 and 2021 he was involved with the anti narcotic centre which was funded by the UK and he asserts it was supervised by Miss White from the UK Ambassador’s office. He was a member of the Afgan Penal Code law drafting committee. His application is evidenced and supported by a letter from the United Nations.
- The 1st Claimant asserts that the Taliban wish to arrest and execute him. Since late August all the Claimants (who are his family) have been in hiding and are in fear for their lives. He has no job, his children are not in school. He has no access to his bank account.
- It is the 1st Claimant’s case that he qualifies for a VISA to live in the UK under the the UK’s ARAP policy and specifically under para 3.6 which matches Immigration Rules r. 276BB5. The key qualifying criteria of which are that (1) the applicant worked alongside a UK government department, in partnership with or closely supporting and assisting that department and (2) in the course of that employment or work the applicant made a substantive and positive contribution towards the achievement of the UK government’s national security objectives with respect to Afghanistan (and for these purposes, the UK government’s national security objectives include counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and anti-corruption objectives.
- The Claimants applied under ARAP in November 2011. Their applications were not determined. The Claimant applied for judicial review of the Defendants’ failure to prioritise their applications and at the hearing of that claim in October 2022 the Defendants agreed to make the decision within 4 weeks.
- The 1st Defendant made a decision in December 2022 and refused the applications. The reason given was that the grounds were not demonstrated by this Judge or his family members.
- Urgency arises because of the risk to the 1st Claimant’s life and to the lives of his family from the Taliban.