A v Burke and Hare (Practice and Procedure – Anonymity): EAT 13 Oct 2021

Possible Stigmatisation not enough for Anonymity

In this claim A sought an anonymity order. She had worked as a stripper and did not wish her name to be published in any judgement dealing with her claim for holiday pay arising from her work as a stripper. Held that the principle of open justice required her name to be published. While there was evidence that strippers were stigmatised, that alone did not justify an anonymity order. The EAT accepted that more serious harms such as verbal abuse and the threat of assault would have justified an order but on the evidence it had not been established that she had a reasonable apprehension of such matters. She no longer worked as a stripper and it was not possible to identify circumstances where these serious harms might occur. In any event the chances that the publication of a judgement on the internet register of judgements would lead to such harms was remote. Held further that the interest in open justice was at its strongest when evidence was given and applied less strongly at a preliminary application designed specifically to deal with the question of anonymity. Where the Claimant indicated she did not intend to pursue her claim further if a general order was refused, the application was granted in relation to the judgement of the EAT on the question of anonymity alone.

Lord Sumners
[2021] UKEAT 2020-000067
England and Wales


Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.668643