CTB and Imogen Thomas
The CTB v Imogen Thomas case raises a number of constitutional concerns about the accountability and reliability of secret justice. On 20th May 2011 the Neuberger Committee reported on secret justice clarifying what should happen. These procedures were not followed (in this case) on a number of occasions. On 2nd November 2011 there was a hearing which was not even listed. On 11th November 2011 the press were excluded without explanation. On 25th November 2011 there was a hearing with a decision for which no judgment was given until yesterday. The court should have clearly discharged the original injunction some months ago.
The key issue, however, is that Secret Justice leads to miscarriages of justice. Secret Justice often means No Justice. In this case it is still unclear whether Imogen Thomas would have been able to prove her case had CTB not been named in parliament. What is clear is that the original injunction would have prevented Imogen Thomas’s lawyers from doing necessary research to find evidence. The law prevents me from saying exactly why.
This is the third privacy case which has been recently shown to start with a miscarriage of justice. I am also concerned that many family cases are known to be based upon unreliable evidence. There needs to be a constitutional review on bringing in accountability and controls on court secrecy. What is clear is that the court itself has a conflict of interest in deciding what is and what is not to be made public.
Judgments:16th May23rd May23rd May 2nd25th November
The statement from yesterday is not available on bailii.