New Judgment: R (A) v B  UKSC 12
09 Wednesday Dec 2009
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 24.
A, a former member of the security service, wants to publish a book about his work, and sought to challenge the refusal of B, the director of establishments, to release him from his duty of confidentiality as a breach of his ECHR, art 10 rights. B argued that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, s 65(2)(a) provided that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal was “the only appropriate tribunal” in relation to proceedings under the Human Rights Act 1998, s 7(1)(a) brought against the intelligence services. A appealed against the CoA’s decision that the IPT had exclusive jurisdiction. Held: unanimously dismissing the appeal, given the statutory language, it was unlikely that Parliament intended to leave it to a complainant whether to bring proceedings in court or before the IPT. There were various provisions in RIPA and the IPT rules which were designed to ensure that even in the most sensitive cases, disputes could be properly determined: none of these provisions would be available in the courts. S 65 of the 2000 Act was not a constitutionally objectionable ‘ouster’ of the courts’ jurisdiction, but an allocation of judicial scrutiny.