Remote and physical access to extradition hearings

Nina Cross made this Freedom of Information request to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

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Dear Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service,

Please can you provide the following information regarding access for the public and press to court cases. This FOI relates to issues of open justice and transparency of court procedures.

1. What is the maximum number of members of the public - not including journalists - that can have remote access to extradition hearings?

2. It has been widely reported that the public was denied remote access to hear the judge's ruling on Julian Paul Assange's extradition case on 4th January this year. Can you clarify if the public has been denied remote access to any extradition case other than Julian Assange's, since remote access to court began?

3. It has been widely reported that NGOs, monitors and journalists not affiliated to the NUJ were denied access to Julian Assange's case on 4th January this year. Can you clarify if NGOs, monitors and journalists not affiliated to the NUJ have been denied remote access to any extradition case other than Julian Assange's, since remote access to court began?

5. Can you clarify which of the above was the reason for the judge denying and severely restricting access to the case of Julian Assange?

6. Can you clarify if it is normal procedure for the Metropolitan Police to maintain a presence outside the court in the mornings prior to hearings? Peaceful members of the public and NGOs were hoping to enter into the court to observe the case of Julian Assange, having had it confirmed in writing by a judge that there would be space for a few individuals to observe the case. While waiting, several people were repeatedly threatened with arrest, as demonstrated here by NGO Reporters without Borders representative Rebecca Vincent:

"Before I forget to come back to this: the intense police pressure this morning was the worst I've ever experienced. This was the first time in my 15-year career that I've faced the threat of arrest for attempting to get into court to do my job. Completely unacceptable. 19"
https://twitter.com/rebecca_vincent/stat...

7. Can you clarify if this has happened to your knowledge to any other individuals waiting to enter Westminster Magistrate's Court court to observe a hearing during the tier 4 and lockdown period?

8. Were there any restrictions placed on remote access to the sentencing of Mohiussunnath Chowdhury on 9th July 2020 at Woolwich Crown Court?

Was the public and press allowed unrestricted remote access?

Was the public allowed physical access?

A link to the case is here: https://www.cps.gov.uk/cps/news/terroris...

Thank you very much for your help.

Yours sincerely

Nina Cross

Dear Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service,

Please note this is an exact copy of my original FOI of today, 12th January, with corrections

Please can you provide the following information regarding access for the public and press to court cases. This FOI relates to issues of open justice and transparency of court procedures.

1. What is the maximum number of members of the public - not including journalists - that can have remote access to extradition hearings?

2. It has been widely reported that the public was denied remote access to hear the judge's ruling on Julian Paul Assange's extradition case on 4th January this year. Can you clarify if the public has been denied remote access to any extradition case other than Julian Assange's, since remote access to court began?

3. It has been widely reported that NGOs, monitors and journalists not affiliated to the NUJ were denied access to Julian Assange's case on 4th January this year. Can you clarify if NGOs, monitors and journalists not affiliated to the NUJ have been denied remote access to any extradition case other than Julian Assange's, since remote access to court began?

4. Can you clarify the reason for the judge denying and severely restricting access to the case of Julian Assange?

5.. Can you clarify if it is normal procedure for the Metropolitan Police to maintain a presence outside the court in the mornings prior to hearings? Peaceful members of the public and NGOs were hoping to enter into the court to observe the case of Julian Assange, having had it confirmed in writing by a judge that there would be space for a few individuals to observe the case. While waiting, several people were repeatedly threatened with arrest, as demonstrated here by NGO Reporters without Borders representative Rebecca Vincent:

"Before I forget to come back to this: the intense police pressure this morning was the worst I've ever experienced. This was the first time in my 15-year career that I've faced the threat of arrest for attempting to get into court to do my job. Completely unacceptable. 19"
https://twitter.com/rebecca_vincent/stat...

6.. Can you clarify if this has happened to your knowledge to any other individuals waiting to enter Westminster Magistrate's Court court to observe a hearing during the tier 4 and lockdown period?

7. Were there any restrictions placed on remote access to the sentencing of Mohiussunnath Chowdhury on 9th July 2020 at Woolwich Crown Court?

Was the public and press allowed unrestricted remote access?

Was the public allowed physical access?

A link to the case is here: https://www.cps.gov.uk/cps/news/terroris...

Thank you very much for your help.

Yours faithfully,

Nina Cross

LondonKILO, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Cross,

 

Please see the attached acknowledgment to your request (our reference
210112009).

 

Regards

 

Knowledge and Information Officer
Knowledge and Information Liaison Unit | London Regional Support Unit |
3^rd Floor | First Avenue House | 42-49 High Holborn | London | WC1V 6NP |
DX160010 Kingsway 7

Web: [1]www.gov.uk/hmcts

 

Unless a higher marking is specified please treat this email as: OFFICIAL

 

show quoted sections

LondonKILO, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Cross,

 

Please see the attached response to your request (our reference
210112009).

 

Knowledge and Information Officer
Knowledge and Information Liaison Unit | London Regional Support Unit |
3^rd Floor | First Avenue House | 42-49 High Holborn | London | WC1V 6NP |
DX160010 Kingsway 7

Web: [1]www.gov.uk/hmcts

 

Unless a higher marking is specified please treat this email as: OFFICIAL

 

 

show quoted sections