A and Others v HM Treasury (Application by Guardian News and Media Ltd and Others)

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date27 January 2010
Neutral Citation[2010] UKSC 1
Date27 January 2010
CourtSupreme Court
In re Guardian and Media News Ltd and Others

Before Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood and Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore

Supreme Court

Public interest overrides right to privacy

Where individuals challenged anti-terrorism asset-freezing orders, the general public interest in publishing a report of the proceedings in which they were named justified curtailing their rights to private life.

The Supreme Court so held when granting an application to set aside anonymity orders by Guardian and Media News Ltd, Associated Press, Times Newspapers Ltd, Bloomberg News, Index on Censorship and Dow Jones and Company, Inc, dated September 28, 2009, on the hearing of appeals by the claimants, Moha mmed Jabar Ahmed, Mohammed Azmir Khan, Michael Marteen, formerly known as, Mohammed Tunveer Ahmed, Mohammed al-Ghabra and Haini El Sayed Sabaei Youssef, in proceedings against HM Treasury.

The claimants contended that the anonymity orders were necessary because identification would infringe their article 8 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing respect for their private life.

The first three claimants were brothers, designated under the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order (SI 2006 No 2657) as persons whom the Treasury suspected of actually or potentially facilitating terrorist acts and in respect of whom asset-freezing orders were made. When those were challenged, Mr Justice CollinsTLRUNK (The Times May 5, 2008; [2008] 3 All ER 361) made anonymity orders which were continued by the Court of AppealTLRWLR (The Times November 12, 2008; [2009] 3 WLR 25).

Mr al-Ghabra, also so designated, was named in a Bank of England press notice publicising the Treasury's asset-freezing direction against him. He was subsequently added to the consolidated list by the United Nations Security Council sanctions committee as a person associated with al-Qaeda and so be came a designated person under the al-Qaeda and Taleban (United Nations Measures) Order (SI 2006 No 2952). In view of the press notice, the application in respect of him was granted at the outset of the hearing of the substantive appeals.

Mr Youssef was also added to the consolidated list and was the subject of a Treasury direction under the al-Qaeda Order which the Bank of England also publicised. In view of that publication, the Supreme Court, on hearing the...

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270 cases
  • Donald v Ntuli
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 16 November 2010
    ...judgment, there is no justification for continued anonymity. I have in mind the judgment of Lord Rodger in Guardian News and Media Ltd [2010] 2 WLR 325, [2010] UKSC 1, at paragraphs 63–64. The material in respect of which Mr Donald has been found to have a reasonable expectation of privacy ......
  • Cokaj (Anonymity Orders: Jurisdiction and Ambit)
    • United Kingdom
    • Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
    • 19 July 2021
    ...4 All ER 1071 Cokaj (paras A398–399D: ‘foreign criminal’: procedure) [2020] UKUT 187 (IAC) Gurdian News and Media Ltd and Others, In re [2010] UKSC 1; [2010] 2 AC 697; [2010] 2 WLR 325; [2010] 2 All ER 799 HA (Iraq) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; RA (Iraq) v Secretary of Stat......
  • HM Attorney General for England and Wales v British Broadcasting Corporation
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • 7 April 2022
    ...X's identity would not matter, because the other elements of the story could be told in any event. In In Re Guardian News and Media Ltd [2010] UKSC 1, [2010] 2 AC 697, the Supreme Court had to consider whether to grant anonymity to litigants contesting asset freezing measures. At [63], Lo......
  • R A’s Application
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Northern Ireland)
    • 21 September 2010
    ...... of that system in the film The Lives of Others is a compelling argument, if one be needed, ......
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10 books & journal articles
  • Open Justice: Concepts and Judicial Approaches
    • United Kingdom
    • Federal Law Review No. 40-3, September 2012
    • 1 September 2012
    ...See eg, Commonwealth v John Fairfax & Sons (1980) 147 CLR 39 (the 'Defence Papers Case'); In re Guardian News and Media Ltd and others [2010] 2 AC 697. 406 Federal Law Review Volume 40 ____________________________________________________________________________________ open justice principl......
  • The Wrong Tort in the Right Place: Avenues for the Development of Civil Privacy Protections in New Zealand
    • New Zealand
    • Canterbury Law Review No. 22-2016, January 2016
    • 1 January 2016
    ...47 [2005] 1 AC 593 at [17]; Campbell , above n 33, at [55]- [56]. 56 Von Hannover, above n 22, at [60]; Re Guardian New and Media Ltd [2010] UKSC 1 [2010] 2 AC 697 at [49]-[51]. 57 See Burrows, above n 9, at 981-982. 58 Smartt, above n 52, at 74-76. 59 Wainwright , above n 42. 60 Jared Mack......
  • Criminal Labels, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Presumption of Innocence
    • United Kingdom
    • The Modern Law Review No. 76-4, July 2013
    • 1 July 2013
    ...Also see T. Valvani, ‘Discrimination on the Basis of Arrest Records’ (1971) 56 CornellLaw Review 470.94 Re Guardian News and Media Ltd [2010] UKSC 1.95 For instance, two newspaper groups were found guilty of contempt of court for publishingpotentially prejudicial coverage of a former suspec......
  • Libel: Its Purpose and Reform
    • United Kingdom
    • The Modern Law Review No. 74-6, November 2011
    • 1 November 2011
    ...on the facts, failed to prove any specific evidence of interference in his right to personalintegrity (In re Guardian News and Media [2010] UKSC 1, 40).This interpretation, however, fails todeal with the central thrust of Karako that not all forms of reputation attract article 8 protection.C......
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