Three linked cases will be heard by the Supreme Court this week from Monday to Thursday 24 – 27 January 2011: Al Rawi and others (Respondents) v The Security Service and others (Appellants); Home Office (Appellant) v Tariq (Respondent); and Home Office (Respondent) v Tariq (Appellant).  A nine-strong bench will hear the cases, consisting of Lords Phillips, Hope and Rodger, Lady Hale and Lords Brown, Mance, Kerr, Clarke, and Dyson.

The Al Rawi case arises from allegations of mistreatment of detainees in US-government run detention facilities and the issue is whether it is open to a court, in the absence of statutory authority, to order a closed material procedure for part (or conceivably, the whole) of the trial of a civil claim for damages in tort and breach of statutory duty and here are the case details for Al Rawi.

The case of Tariq concerns the dismissal of an immigration officer of Pakistani origin who had received security clearance but later suspended on national security grounds following the arrest of his brother and cousin in connection with a plot to attack transatlantic flights on the basis that association with his relatives may put him at risk of their attempting to influence him to abuse his position.  A race discrimination claim has been filed. The issues to now be decided are: (1) whether the decision of the House of Lords in AF (No.3) – that the gist of the case against a person subject to closed proceedings must be disclosed to enable a fair hearing – applies to proceedings for race discrimination in the Employment Tribunal; and (2) (on a cross-appeal) whether the use of a closed material procedure in the Employment Tribunal meets a test of being necessary in the interests of national security; and whether the use of special advocates is inconsistent with the law on conflicts of interest in that they are instructed by the Treasury Solicitor. The Supreme Court case details are here for Tariq as the Appellant and here for Tariq as the Respondent.

Judgments to be handed down

The Supreme Court has announced judgment will be handed down on Yemshaw v London Borough of Hounslow on Wednesday 26 January 2011. The case was heard 2 December 2010 and here are the Supreme Court case details.

There are no cases being heard in the Privy Council and no judgments have been announced for hand-down this week.

Television Programme

At 9.00pm to 10.00pm on 27 January, BBC4 will show the documentary “The Highest Court in the Land: Justice Makers“.  This is described in the following terms:

Documentary in which four Justices of the Supreme Court, the final court of appeal, talk frankly about the nature of their work and how they make decisions. The programme explores how fair the rulings of the court’s members – 11 men and one woman – are and whether their feelings ever influence their judgments. In its first 14 months, cases included MPs’ expenses which resulted in the prosecution of David Chaytor, amendments to the status of pre-nuptial agreements, and proceedings with the Government over control orders and the Human Rights Act. Narrated by Aidan Gillett. Part of the Justice – A Citizen’s Guide season.

The programme will feature interviews with Lord Phillips, Lord Hope, Lady Hale and Lord Kerr.

Judgments outstanding

The following Supreme Court judgments remain outstanding:

R (SK) (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, heard 10-11 Feb 2010

Global Process Systems Inc and another v Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Berhad, heard 28 July 2010

Sienkiewicz (Administratrix of the Estate of Enid Costello deceased) v Greif (UK) Limited and Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council) v Willmore, heard 26-28 October 2010

ZH (Tanzania) (FC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, heard 9-10 November 2010

JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. and another v Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) Anstalt des Oeffentlichen Rechts, heard 11 November 2010

WL Congo 1 and 2 & anr v Secretary of State for the Home Department and KM (Jamaica) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, heard 15-18 November 2010

Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Limited & Ors; Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Limited & Ors (Pretty Polly Limited); and Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Limited & Ors (Meridian Limited), heard 22-24 November 2010

Mayor & Burgesses of the London Borough of Hounslow v Powell; Leeds City Council v Hall; and Birmingham City Council v Frisby, heard 23-24 November 2010

Patmalniece (FC) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, heard 29 November – 1 December 2010

R v F and R v M, heard 6 December 2010

Jones v Kaney, heard 11 – 12 January 2011

Duncombe and others v Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, heard 17-18 January 2011

Farstad Supply A/S v Enviroco, heard 19-20 January 2011

The following Privy Council judgments are awaited:

Romeo Cannonier & Ors v The Queen (St Christopher & Nevis) and Romeo Cannonier v The Queen (St Christopher & Nevis), heard 13 May 2010

The Public Service Appeal Board v Omar Maraj (Trinidad & Tobago), heard 5 October 2010

Tabeel Lewis v The State of Trinidad & Tobago, heard 11 October 2010

Charles Villeneuve & Anr v Joel Gaillard & Anr (Bahamas), heard 20-21 October 2010

Steven Kent Jervis & Another v Victor John Skinner (Bahamas), heard 27-28 October 2010

AK Investment CJSC v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Limited and Others; Altimo Holdings and Investments Limited v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Limited and Others; CP Credit Prive SA v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Limited and Others; and Fellowes International Holdings Limited v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Limited and Others, heard 30 November-7 December 2010.

Nigel Sookram v The Queen (Grenada), heard 19 January 2011

John Thompson & Another (Original Appellants/Cross Respondents) v Goblin Hill Hotels Limited (Original Respondents/Cross Appellants) (Jamaica), heard 20 January 2011