Closed material and special applicants
Al Rawi and others v Security Services and others  EWHC 2959 (QB); TLR 24 November; NLJ 27 November p1668
The claim was brought against organs of the state by seven former detainees who had been held in foreign states at various
locations, including the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and who alleged the defendants caused or contributed to
their detention and alleged ill-treatment by foreign authorities. The justification for the use of special advocates in the
closed material procedure was expressed in very wide terms and the only limitation on the use was that they had to be used
in exceptional cases as a last resort in order to ensure fairness. The use of the closed material procedure in civil claims
for damages was not precluded by any authority, any rule relating to public interest immunity, any provisions in the Civil
Procedure Rules or in the Crown Proceedings Act 1947 or any matter which had been raised in the written or oral submissions
of the claimants or the interveners. Accordingly, closed material procedure, as was used in criminal proceedings, sitting
in camera and using special advocates who are not allowed to disclose secret evidence to their clients, could be used in a
civil claim for damages.
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