Hearing: A, K and M v HM Treasury (Anonymity)
22 Thursday Oct 2009
A seven judge Supreme Court panel today heard an application by nine media organisations and NGOs to lift the anonymity orders in favour of the appellants in A, K and M v HM Treasury. The substantive appeal was heard on 5, 6, 7 and 8 October (the case preview is here). The media applied on the first day to lift the anonymity orders but their application was adjourned to today. Our post on the first day ruling is here.
On behalf of the media organisations Mr Geoffrey Robertson QC submitted that the fundamental constitutional principle of open justice should not be eroded by a human rights “balancing” exercise and that the “balancing exercise” in Re S  UKHL 47 and Re BBC  UKHL 34 was the wrong approach to reporting restrictions.
He also argued that “reputation” was not an Article 8 right at all, relying on the travaux preparatoires and the recent case of Karako v Hungary (Judgment of 28 April 2009). As a result, he argued, anonymity orders were not properly made in the A, K and M cases or in any of the recent control order cases.
Mr Hugh Tomlinson QC, on behalf of A, K and M argued that the Court should carry out a “parallel analysis” under Articles 8 and 10 and that the appellants were in an exceptional position, having made the subject of freezing orders on the basis of “reasonable suspicion” in circumstances in which they did not know the evidence against them and could not obtain any “acquittal”. The written Submissions on behalf of A, K and M can be found here.
The panel consisted of Lords Phillips, Hope, Rodger and Walker, Lady Hale, Lord Brown and Lord Kerr and was the same as the A v HM Treasury panel save that Lord Mance was replaced by Lord Kerr.
Judgment was reserved.