ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION (ADMINISTRATIVE COURT)
Mr. Justice Silber
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LADY JUSTICE BLACK
SIR MALCOLM PILL
| THE QUEEN
(on the application of Christopher Willford)
|- and -
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Miss Dinah Rose Q.C. and Mr. Ben Jaffey (instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP) for the respondent
Hearing dates : 21 February 2013
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Moore-Bick :
"(2) The Principle of Open Justice
The principle of open justice is a fundamental constitutional principle, although it is not an absolute principle. It applies to interim injunction applications as it does to trials.
Derogations from open justice can only properly be made where, and to the extent that, they are strictly necessary in order to secure the proper administration of justice.
Applications for such derogations must be supported by clear and cogent evidence, and should be subjected to careful scrutiny by the court. Where a derogation is appropriate the court should consider what information can properly be put into the public domain. Without such consideration it is not possible for the court to ensure that any derogation from open justice is the minimum necessary to secure the proper administration of justice."
"66. I consider, therefore, that the present appeal provides a good opportunity for this court to make it clear that a private hearing or party anonymisation will be granted in the Court of Appeal only if, and only to the extent that, a member of the Court is satisfied that it is necessary for the proper administration of justice.
67. The fact that the first instance judge granted or refused to permit a private hearing or anonymisation cannot be conclusive of such issues in the Court of Appeal (although the judge's refusal of such relief will, in most cases, render any subsequent application on appeal pointless). A first instance judge's decision on such an issue self-evidently does not bind the Court of Appeal, and cannot determine how an appeal in this court proceeds. However, this court would normally pay close regard to the judge's decision, especially if expressed in a reasoned judgment. Nonetheless, in relation to appeals, the Court of Appeal should not depart from the general rule that litigation is to be conducted in public, unless a judge of that court is persuaded that there are cogent grounds for doing so."
Lady Justice Black :
Sir Malcolm Pill :