Bank Mellat v HM Treasury: QBD 11 Jun 2010

The respondent had made an order under the Regulations restricting all persons from dealing with the the claimant bank. The bank applied to have the order set aside. Though the defendant originally believed that the Iranian government owned 80% of the shares, the figure was 20% and soon to be reduced to 15%. It said that it should have been given an opportunity to make representations before the order was made, that the order had been made without fulfilling the require,ents and that it breached its human rights.
Held: The claim failed. The objective of the Order might not be met if by being forewarned, a subject might take steps to evade its effect. Section 63 provides a means by which the bank is afforded a reasonable opportunity of effectively challenging the measures contained in the Order.
Whilst Article 6 applied to the proceedings, it could could not apply before any proceedings commenced (Micallef). In the alternative, a hybrid procedure involving executive decision making can be compatible with Article 6(1), and the procedure for determining the bank’s civil rights in this case is hybrid: an executive decision affirmed by Parliament, subject to later challenge before a Court.
As to the substantial objection, the test was as to whether the respondent reasonably believed that Iran is developing Nuclear Weapons, and that such a development threatened the national interests of the UK. In this case: ‘the objective of the Order – to inhibit the development of nuclear weapons by Iran – is sufficiently important to justify interfering with property rights. The measure – excluding the bank from the financial sector in the United Kingdom – is rationally connected to it. To produce or facilitate the production of nuclear weapons, Iran needs to import uranium, centrifuges and, no doubt, a host of other materials, from abroad. To do so, it must pay for them. To pay for them, it will require, or at least find convenient, to use banking facilities, in particular the issuing and confirmation of letters of credit. An Iranian importer of such material is likely to turn to an Iranian bank with an international presence, to issue letters of credit. Cutting off one such bank from one of the principal financial markets in which such business may be transacted is clearly rationally connected to the inhibition of the development of nuclear weapons.’
Justice required that in this case, the some at least of the evidence evidence be put before the court and that it had to be dealt with by a Closed Material Procedure. Part of the judgment was handed down as a closed judgment not available publicly or to the bank.

Mitting J
[2010] EWHC 1332 (QB), [2010] WLR (D) 148
Bailii, WLRD
Financial Restrictions (Iran) Order 2009 (SI 2009 No 2725), Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, European Convention on Human Rights 6
England and Wales
See AlsoBank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury CA 4-May-2010
The claimants sought damages after being made subject of orders under the 2009 Order. Both parties appealed against an order (partly closed) allowing some but restricting other disclosure and use against the claimants in court of evidence which they . .
CitedCooper v The Board of Works For The Wandsworth Destrict 21-Apr-1863
Where a land-owner owner had failed to give proper notice to the Board, the Board had, under the 1855 Act, power to demolish any building he had erected and recover the cost from him. The plaintiff said that the Board had used that power without . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Doody and Others HL 25-Jun-1993
A mandatory lifer is to be permitted to suggest the period of actual sentence to be served. The Home Secretary must give reasons for refusing a lifer’s release. What fairness requires in any particular case is ‘essentially an intuitive judgment’, . .
CitedJokela v Finland ECHR 21-May-2002
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of P1-1; No violation of Art. 6-1 with regard to witnesses; No violation of Art. 6-1 with regard to reasons for decision; Pecuniary damage – financial . .
CitedBAPIO Action Ltd and Another, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and Another CA 9-Nov-2007
The action group appealed against refusal of a judicial review of guidelines as to the employment of non-EU doctors, saying that they were in effect immigration rules and issuable only under the 1971 Act. The court had said that since the guidance . .
AppliedMicallef v Malta ECHR 15-Oct-2009
‘The Court reiterates that for Article 6(1) in its ‘civil’ limb to be applicable, there must be a dispute over a ‘civil right’ which can be said, at least on arguable grounds, to be recognised under domestic law’
Preliminary proceedings or . .
CitedWright and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Health and Another HL 21-Jan-2009
The claimants had been provisionally listed as ‘people considered unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults’ which meant that they could no longer work, but they said they were given no effective and speedy opportunity to object to the listing. . .
CitedRegina (Holding and Barnes plc) v Secretary of State for Environment Transport and the Regions; Regina (Alconbury Developments Ltd and Others) v Same and Others HL 9-May-2001
Power to call in is administrative in nature
The powers of the Secretary of State to call in a planning application for his decision, and certain other planning powers, were essentially an administrative power, and not a judicial one, and therefore it was not a breach of the applicants’ rights . .
CitedBX v Secretary of State for The Home Department CA 4-May-2010
The applicant was subject to a non-derogating control order. The court was asked (1) whether a ‘controlled person’ to whom the Secretary of State has given notice of modification under section 7(2)(d) and (8)(c) 2005 Act, may seek to challenge or . .
CitedSporrong and Lonnroth v Sweden ECHR 23-Sep-1982
Balance of Interests in peaceful enjoyment claim
(Plenary Court) The claimants challenged orders expropriating their properties for redevelopment, and the banning of construction pending redevelopment. The orders remained in place for many years.
Held: Article 1 comprises three distinct . .
CitedJames and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 21-Feb-1986
The claimants challenged the 1967 Act, saying that it deprived them of their property rights when lessees were given the power to purchase the freehold reversion.
Held: Article 1 (P1-1) in substance guarantees the right of property. Allowing a . .
CitedHuang v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 21-Mar-2007
Appellate Roles – Human Rights – Families Split
The House considered the decision making role of immigration appellate authorities when deciding appeals on Human Rights grounds, against refusal of leave to enter or remain, under section 65. In each case the asylum applicant had had his own . .
CitedDe Freitas v The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Lands and Housing and others PC 30-Jun-1998
(Antigua and Barbuda) The applicant was employed as a civil servant. He joined a demonstration alleging corruption in a minister. It was alleged he had infringed his duties as a civil servant, and he replied that the constitution allowed him to . .
CitedBosphorus Hava Yollari Turizm ve Ticaretas v Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications and others ECJ 30-Jul-1996
ECJ (Judgment) Article 8 of Regulation No 990/93 concerning trade between the European Economic Community and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which provides that ‘all vessels, freight vehicles, rolling stock . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromBank Mellat v HM Treasury CA 13-Jan-2011
Under the 2009 Order, the appellant Bank’s UK operations had been shut down. It appealed against the Order, but the respondent had brought evidence, closed save to the respondent, and the order had been confirmed.
Held: The bank’s appeal . .
At first instanceBank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury (No 2) SC 19-Jun-2013
The bank challenged measures taken by HM Treasury to restrict access to the United Kingdom’s financial markets by a major Iranian commercial bank, Bank Mellat, on the account of its alleged connection with Iran’s nuclear weapons and ballistic . .
At first instanceBank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury (No 1) SC 19-Jun-2013
Closed Material before Supreme Court
Under the 2009 order, the appellant Bank had been effectively shut down as to its operations within the UK. It sought to use the appeal procedure, and now objected to the use of closed material procedure. The Supreme Court asked itself whether it . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Banking, International, Human Rights

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.416753