Accessibility statement

Opening up Closed Judgements: balancing secrecy, security and accountability

Date: January 2017 - December 2017

Researcher: Dr Lawrence McNamara

It is increasingly common for closed material procedures (CMPs) to be used in civil cases where national security issues arise.

Judgments in these cases will be closed and not available to the public, some of the parties, or some of the lawyers.

Over time, though, there may not be grounds for closure because the danger to national security will pass. However, the law does not presently provide for a review of judgments to see if they might be opened later.

This project aimed to remedy that shortcoming by working with stakeholders to devise a practical evidence-based system that will enable closed judgments to be reviewed, and if there is no longer a danger to national security, for those judgments to be opened.

The project was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

It was conducted jointly with the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law where the PI, Dr McNamara, also holds a post.