SHN -v- Secretary of State for Defence (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Case number: AC-2023-LON-003431

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

4 December 2023


The Honourable Mrs Justice Heather Williams DBE


The King on the application of


Secretary of State for Defence


On an application by the Claimant for anonymity and expedition
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant

ORDER by the Honourable Mrs Justice Heather Williams DBE

  1. In so far as it is practicable for the Court to do so, a decision on the papers in respect of permission is to be made by 21 December 2023.
  2. Pursuant to CPR Rule 39.2(4), the identity of the Claimant shall not be disclosed to any person who is not a party to these proceedings without the permission of the Court. The Claimant shall be referred to as SHN in these proceedings. Nothing shall be published which may reveal the name or address of the Claimant or any other details liable to lead to their identification.
  3. Pursuant to CPR 5.4C, a person who is not a party to the proceedings may obtain a copy of a statement of case, judgment or order from the Court records only if the statement of case, judgment or order has been anonymised and all references which are capable of leading to the identification of the Claimant have been deleted or otherwise redacted from those documents.
  4. These restrictions will continue until further order but they may be reviewed by the Court on application by any person who wishes to set aside or vary the order for anonymity. Any request for reconsideration must be made in writing on not less than 14 days written notice to the parties and stating reasons in support


  1. An order for anonymity and the related restrictions upon reporting and access to Court documents are necessary and appropriate given the potential threats to the safety of the Claimant and his family if identified. He remains in Afghanistan where he is in hiding and his immediate and extended family live in Afghanistan. His identity was anonymised in earlier Administrative Court proceedings (that were the subject of a consent order in June 2023).
  2. The Claimant seeks a measure of expedition given his current circumstances. As he does not seek an expedited timescale for provision of the Acknowledge of Service, it does not appear that the Respondent will be prejudiced. The proceedings were served on 22 November 2023. I am willing to provide for permission to be considered on the papers by the end of the High Court term, if it is practicable for the Court to do so. I am reluctant to give a more absolute timescale than this, given the competing pressures on the Court’s resources and given the Claimant failed to apply for expedition via an N463 or Application Notice (resulting in some delay before this request was considered).