“Attorney General mounts bid to gag BBC on ‘national security’ story” Evening Standard 26/1/22

J Roberts made this Freedom of Information request to Attorney General's Office

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The request was refused by Attorney General's Office.

Dear Attorney General's Office,

The Evening Standard reports:

'The Attorney General has launched a High Court bid to gag the BBC over plans by the broadcaster to run a story on national security, reportedly involving the identity of a spy.'

The story also includes this:

'The judge has directed that a redacted version of the injunction application and claim form can now be made public.'

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/attor...

Please provide me with a redacted version of the injunction application and claim form.

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

Correspondence (AGO), Attorney General's Office

1 Attachment

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Correspondence (AGO), Attorney General's Office

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Roberts,

 

Thank you for your FOI request to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

 

The AGO will respond to your request within the deadline requirement of
the FOIA legislation.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

FOI Officer

 

Freedom of Information Officer
E: [AGO request email]
T: 0207 271 2492
       102 Petty France,London SW1H 9EA
[1]Twitter_Logo_Blue@[2]attorneygeneral | [3]gov.uk/ago
Making law and politics work together at the heart of the UK constitution

 

 

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Correspondence (AGO), Attorney General's Office

5 Attachments

Dear Sir / Madam,

 

Please find attached the AGO response to your FOI request dated 27 January
2022.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

FOI Officer

 

Freedom of Information Officer
E: [AGO request email]
T: 0207 271 2492
       102 Petty France,London SW1H 9EA
[1]Twitter_Logo_Blue@[2]attorneygeneral | [3]gov.uk/ago
Making law and politics work together at the heart of the UK constitution

 

 

From: Correspondence (AGO) <[email address]>
Sent: 28 January 2022 10:33
To: J Roberts <[FOI #827267 email]>
Cc: Correspondence (AGO) <[email address]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - “Attorney General mounts bid
to gag BBC on ‘national security’ story” Evening Standard 26/1/22

 

Dear Mr Roberts,

 

Thank you for your FOI request to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

 

The AGO will respond to your request within the deadline requirement of
the FOIA legislation.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

FOI Officer

 

Freedom of Information Officer
E: [4][AGO request email]
T: 0207 271 2492
       102 Petty France,London SW1H 9EA
[5]Twitter_Logo_Blue@[6]attorneygeneral | [7]gov.uk/ago
Making law and politics work together at the heart of the UK constitution

 

 

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J Roberts left an annotation ()

'The information you have requested is exempt from disclosure by AGO pursuant to section 32(1)(a) of the Act, which states that documents filed or placed within the custody of a court for the purpose of proceedings in a particular cause are exempt. This is an absolute exemption so, having established that the documents you have requested fall within this exemption, there is no requirement to apply the public interest test.

Members of the public may seek access to court documents and files directly from the High Court itself. This system operates under Rule 5.4C of the Civil Procedure Rules. You may wish to quote the Claim Number for this case (“QB-2022-174”) in any correspondence with the High Court.'

J Roberts left an annotation ()

From the BBC:

'The government wants to stop a BBC programme that alleges an MI5 agent is a dangerous extremist and misogynist, who abused two former female partners.

A High Court judgment published on Thursday [24/2/22] revealed details of the previously-secret legal battle over whether the story can proceed.

Mr Justice Chamberlain said parts of the case must be heard in public.'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-60514708

J Roberts left an annotation ()

[2022] EWHC 380 (QB)

Hearing dates: 16 February 2022
Handed down in private pursuant to CPR r. 39.2: 22/02/2022
Made public: 24/02/2022

https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/...

'20. The reasons for my rejection of the Attorney's argument in favour of a private hearing can be grouped under four heads:

(a) There is no apparent legal basis for restraining the BBC from broadcasting a story which does not identify X. That being so, there can be no good reason for holding the interim relief hearing in private, provided that nothing is said which might directly or indirectly identify X during the course of that hearing.

(b) Some elements of the story have already been published in an article in The Daily Telegraph on 21 January 2022, which quotes what appears to be a Government source.

(c) In the light of (b), and more generally, no convincing case has been made out that publication of a story which does not identify X would cause real damage to national security.

(d) The public interest in open justice outweighs any risks established by the Attorney's evidence.'

J Roberts left an annotation ()

The Guardian:

'In his written submissions, David Pannick QC, for the BBC, said the woman, known as “Beth”, to whom the agent disclosed his identity as a CHIS, was subjected to “undeniable violent abuse by X”, which she filmed and which he invited the court to view.'

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

'BBC cannot name alleged abusive MI5 agent - court'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61021108

Attorney General for England and Wales -v- BBC

https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/attor...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

'13. I had hoped that the process of preparing the table recording the parties’ positions would result in a measure of agreement on the key issues, or most of them. This hope was not realised: the number of issues in dispute was dispiritingly large.

14. ...The BBC agrees that X’s name, voice and accent are identifying, but complains that some of the other categories (e.g. “appearance”) are too broad. The Attorney General responds that the categories have to be broad, because she does not know what information the BBC is proposing to include in its broadcast.

17 There is an additional feature which marks this case out as unusual if not unique. It has involved a closed material procedure.

19 The phrase “likely to lead to” has been held to refer not to a statistical probability, but to “the real risk, the real danger, the real chance” that the individual will be identified...

32. I have already decided that the Attorney General is entitled to an injunction to prevent the BBC from disclosing information likely to identify X. The only issue now in dispute is what information falls into that category.

33 In Part II of my judgment, I consider the particular information said to give rise to a real risk of identifying X. As I have explained, Part II of this OPEN judgment has been handed down in private. I have given the parties permission to make submissions if they consider that any passages form Part II can be made public without giving rise to the relevant risk.'

https://caselaw.nationalarchives.gov.uk/...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

BBC:

'A High Court ruling will allow the BBC to publish a story about a man it says exploited his status as an MI5 informant to abuse his partner.

The BBC said the decision will allow it to tell a story that is "firmly in the public interest".

An injunction still bans the corporation identifying the man, known in court proceedings as X.

But in a final ruling, the judge said the BBC can decide which details can be made public without identifying him.'

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61466167

J Roberts left an annotation ()

BBC:

'A video shows the man threatening to kill the woman and attacking her with a machete.

The foreign national cannot be named, despite evidence he is a threat to women, after the government took the BBC to court to block publication.

Evidence shows that he is a right-wing extremist with a violent past.'

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61508520