Closed hearing granted in UK sanctions judicial review

An English judge has granted the Government a closed hearing in a sanctions judicial review.

5 Iranian individuals were included on the European Union’s restrictive measures relating to Iran in December 2011 on the basis of a proposal from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK stating that each of them was a “senior member” of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL). IRISL and all of these individuals (among others) won their applications to the General Court of the European Union to annul their designations; see previous blogs on the IRISL and Nabipour cases. The 5 individuals whose listing resulted from the UK listing proposal brought judicial review proceedings challenging the Secretary of State’s decision to propose that for EU designation, claiming damages for losses suffered as a result of the listing proposal.

The Secretary of State applied for a declaration under section 6 of the Justice & Security Act 2013 for an order that the judicial review should be heard in a closed material procedure (CMP) in which the Secretary of State could rely on sensitive material that would not be shown to the claimants. Mr Justice Bean has just granted that application, in R (Sarkandi) & Ors v Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs [2014] EWHC 2359 (Admin).  He rejected the claimants’  argument that the sensitive material was irrelevant because it could not lawfully be relied on by the Secretary of State to justify the listing proposal, that the Secretary of State had not properly considered whether an application for public interest immunity and/or “gisting” would suffice, and that the case could not fairly be tried in a closed hearing. The Judge has given the claimants permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Maya Lester appeared for the Claimants, and also for the applicants in the IRISL and Nabipour cases.

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About Maya Lester QC

Maya Lester QC

Maya Lester QC is a senior barrister (Queen’s Counsel) at Brick Court Chambers with a wide-ranging practice in public law, European law, competition law, international law, human rights & civil liberties. She has a particular expertise in sanctions. The legal directories say she is the...

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