WBO -v- Newport City Council (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Case Number: AC-2024-CDF-000035

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

4 March 2024

In the matter of an application for judicial review

The Honourable Mr Justice Eyre

The King
on the application of

(1) Newport City Council
(2) Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (interested party)

Anonymity Order

On an application by the Claimant for interim relief

Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant

AND UPON it appearing that non-disclosure of the identity of the Claimant is necessary in order to secure the proper administration of justice and to protect the interests of a child pursuant to rule 39.2(4) of the Civil Procedure Rules and section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and rules 5.4C of the Civil Procedure Rules

ORDER by the Honourable Mr Justice Eyre

  1. The Claimant’s application for anonymity is granted, and pursuant to CPR Rule 5.4A-5.4D and Rule 39.2, with effect from the date of this order and until further order:
    a. The Claimant shall hereinafter be referred to in these proceedings as “WBO” and there shall be substituted for all purposes of this case, in place of references to the name of the Claimant, reference to “WBO”;
    b. There shall be no publication of any name, address, picture or other information likely to lead to the identification of the Claimant as being the Claimant in these proceedings;
    c. In paragraph (b) “publication” means communication to the public or any section of the public whether by way of report of the proceedings or otherwise. It includes publication in a newspaper or broadcast, or on the internet, by any person;
    d. The Defendant, the Interested Party and any party served with or given notice of the anonymity order, has permission to apply to discharge or vary that order. Any application for that purpose must be made in writing, on notice to all parties;
    e. Pursuant to CPR rule 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 such that: (i) the Claimant is referred to in those documents only as “WBO” and (ii) any reference to the names of the Claimant be deleted from those documents
    f. Any application for permission to inspect or obtain a non-anonymised version of a document must be made on notice to the Claimant and in accordance with CPR r.5.4C(6).
  2. The Defendant shall file and serve such response as advised to the Claimant’s application for interim relief by 4.00pm on 6th March 2023.
  3. The application for interim relief shall be referred to a judge or deputy judge of the Administrative Court for further consideration on the earlier of the receipt of the Defendant’s response to the application or 10.00am on 7th March 2023.
  4. The said reference shall be made even if no response has been received from the Defendant by 10.00am on 7th March 2023.
  5. Costs reserved.

This order has been made without a hearing. Any party affected by this order may apply within 7 days of the service of this order on that party to have it set aside, varied, or stayed.


  1. The Claimant has set out sufficient grounds to justify anonymisation at this stage though the said order is liable to be revised in due course.
  2. The Claimant has shown grounds for urgent consideration of his application but expedition to the extent that he seeks is not warranted and it is necessary for the Defendant to have a proper opportunity to respond to the application.
  3. In considering the appropriate level of expedition and the need for the Defendant to have an opportunity to respond it is of note that the Defendant’s pre-action response indicates that the Defendant was told that an age assessment had been undertaken by the Interested Party. Moreover, the email at paragraph 11 of Mr Luke’s witness statement refers to the Claimant having presented himself as an adult. Those are potentially highly significant matters in circumstances where the claim is predicated on the Claimant being a child. It appears that may be a matter which is open to substantial debate.
  4. The directions which I have made provide for a proper balance between the need for urgent consideration and giving the Defendant an adequate opportunity to respond to the application.