Index on Censorship welcomes reversal of United Kingdom Supreme Court anonymity
Significant ruling endorses free press and open justice
27 Jan 10

Index on Censorship today welcomes the UK Supreme Court’s decision to recall orders for the anonymity of terror suspects subject to asset-freezing in the first case heard by the UK’s Supreme Court.

Jo Glanville, editor of Index on Censorship, commented: “This is an important decision. For the very first case heard by the Supreme Court to be held under conditions of anonymity would have been a blow to the concepts of a free press and open justice, which should be at the core of the court’s operations.”
Index on Censorship was party to a challenge to the anonymity orders in the case of A, K, M and HAY v HM Treasury.

Delivering the judgement, Lord Rodger commented: “If newspapers can identify the people concerned, they may be able to give a more vivid and compelling account which will stimulate discussion of the impact of freezing orders and their impact upon the communities in which people live. Concealing their identities simply casts a shadow over entire communities.”

The Supreme Court replaced the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the United Kingdom in October 2009.

Read the Supreme Court judgment here

Also read: Mark Stephens on the Supreme Court’s “alphabet soup”