QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|(1) FLORICA DULGHERIU|
|(2) AB (the vigil leader)||Claimants|
|- and -|
|LONDON BOROUGH OF EALING||Defendants|
MR A HENDERSON and MR B FULLBROOK (instructed by Tuckers Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the claimants.
MISS K BHOGAL (instructed by London Borough of Ealing) appeared on behalf of the defendants.
Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE HOLMAN:
"The†GCN is a†voluntary not-for-profit organisation. I†am aware that it is funded by individuals making donations at church and at conferences. It is run by a†group of volunteer individuals, although†GCN does employ some staff of which I†am one."
"The court may order that the identity of any party or witness must not be disclosed if it considers non-disclosure necessary in order to protect the interests of that party or witness."
" 23. Whether a departure from the principle of open justice is justified in any particular case will be highly fact-specific and will require a balancing of the competing rights and interests. The starting point must be that in a Parliamentary democracy subject to the rule of law, a person who wishes to bring a public law challenge to the conduct of the Government on the ground that it is unlawful should normally be expected to do so openly and to identify himself or herself in the process."
"24. Any exception to the principle of open justice will have to be shown to be strictly necessary in order to protect the interests of the administration of justice. The burden of establishing any derogation from the general principle rests on the party seeking it. It must be established by clear and cogent evidence."
"However, members of the public should be able to bring a legal challenge such as the present without an objectively justified fear as to the possible repercussions for their or their families' safety. In the present case, these claimants rely on what they say is a clear risk to their safety and the chilling effect on litigation if their identities were known..."
"39. We consider that in this particular case to publish the names of the claimants would add little, if anything, to a proper understanding of these proceedings and the issues involved. Furthermore, the issues are such that the proceedings and the result are likely to be widely reported and read irrespective of any inability to name the claimants. This is not a case in which the grant of anonymity to the claimants will impede public debate of the issues involved...
We consider that there is no public interest arising from the publication of the names of the claimants which could possibly outweigh the risk that we have found in the present case."
"(8) An anonymity order or any other order restraining publication made by a judge at an interlocutory stage of an injunction application does not last for the duration of the proceedings but must be reviewed at the return date."
"The legislation for Public Spaces Protection Orders was not designed for this purpose, but councils have been left with no other option... Across the UK forty-two clinics have been subjected to these protests in the last year alone. To rely on this same action being taken by volunteers and councils around England and Wales is not a viable solution to this problem. Nor is the patchwork approach to the protection of women accessing medical treatment that would be the inevitable result of relying on councils to respond. This is a national problem in need of a national solution. That is why we are asking this Government to bring forward legislation to introduction buffer zones outside abortion clinics and pregnancy advisory bureaux, in which anti-abortion activity cannot take place."
"While I view my work as a very meaningful and fulfilling vocation, it has at the same time become a source of my income, and I am very concerned about whether it will be sustainable to continue in my current role in light of the Ealing PSPO."
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