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

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Claim number: AC-2023-LON-003675

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

26 February 2024


The Honourable Mrs Justice Heather Williams DBE


The King on the application of

(1) MXR
(2) NXG
(3) AXR
(4) AYR
(5) LXG
(6) WXR
(7) AXK
(8) AXG
(9) YXR
(10) WYR
(11) KXR
(12) HXR
(13) LXR


Secretary of State for Defence


On the Claimant application for anonymity, appointment of a litigation friend and expedited consideration of permission

Following consideration of the documents lodged by the parties

ORDER by the Honourable Mrs Justice Heather Williams DBE

1. The Claimants shall be referred in these proceedings as follows: C1 as MXR, C2 as NXG, C3 as AXR, C4 as AYR, C5 as LXG, C6 as WXR, C7 as AXK, C8 as AXG, C9 as YXR, C10 as WYR, C11 as KXR, C12 as HXR, C13 as LXR and C14 as AQR.

2. Pursuant to CPR rule 39.2(4) there shall not be disclosed in any report of the proceedings, the name or address of any Claimant or any details leading to their identification; and the Claimants shall be referred to by the initials indicated in the previous paragraph.

3. Liberty to any person affected by paragraphs 1 – 2 of this Order to apply on notice to the parties to have this Order set aside or varied.

4. AXR is appointed as AQR’s litigation friend.

5. If the Defendant maintains that consideration of the application for permission should await determination of its CMP application dated 29 January 2024, the Defendant is to file and serve written submissions by 4.30 pm on 27 February 2024 addressing why it is said that the permission decision should not be made at this juncture.

6. If the Defendant files and serves written submissions in accordance with paragraph 5 above, the Claimants do have until 4.30 pm on 5 March 2024 to file any written submissions in response.

7. The question of whether permission to apply for judicial review can be determined at this juncture is to be placed before a High Court Judge for consideration on the papers by 13 March 2024.

8. The question of whether the Claimants have permission to rely upon their Reply is deferred to the Judge considering whether to grant permission to apply for judicial review.


1. I am satisfied that it is appropriate to grant the Claimants anonymity and to restrain publication of their identity in light of the matters identified by the Claimants regarding threats to their safety. These considerations warrant this limited incursion upon the principle of open justice. The Defendant does not oppose the application.

2. I am willing to make the order sought in relation to C3 acting as a litigation friend. The text of the submitted draft order refers to C13, but all other indications in the Claimant’s documentation indicate that it is intended that the order be made in relation to C14 and I have proceeded accordingly.

3. The Claimants seek an order that permission be determined within 14 day of their application dated 14 February 2024. The Defendant, on the other hand, contends that permission should not be determined until after determination of the applications made on 29 January 2024 for a declaration that these are proceedings in which a closed material application may be made and for permission to disclose sensitive material to the Court and Special Advocates alone. There is potential force in the Claimants’ concerns about the delay that has already occurred in this matter and the further delay that this course would occasion. However, it is also undesirable for permission to be considered in the absence of relevant material (and the opportunity to address it). I consider that in order to decide where the balance lies between these potentially competing considerations in this case, further information is desirable. Paragraph 20 of the Defendant’s Summary Grounds of Resistance does not explain why permission could not be addressed prior to determination of its application. Whilst appreciating the limitations of what may be said in Open material, I consider it important for the Court to be given a clearer understanding of why permission could not be considered at this stage on the open material available.

4. Once submissions are received the question of timetabling can be further considered and I have provided for this to be done expeditiously.