British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Ahmad: Admn 11 Jan 2012

The BBC wished to interview the prisoner who had been detained pending extradition to the US since 2004, and now challenged decision to refuse the interview.
Held: The claim succeeded. The decision was quashed and must be retaken. If ever any case justified exceptional treatment, this was one. He had been held without trial for seven years, and had been seriously assaulted on his arrest. Whatever he was accused of had taken place in the UK, and the CPS had decided that there were insufficent grounds for a prosecution. The policy itself allowed exceptions to the writing only communications rule, and ‘even after giving appropriate weight to the views of the Secretary of State, the decision . . constitutes a disproportionate interference with the right to freedom of expression in article 10. In the circumstances of this particular case, the justification for that interference has not been ‘convincingly established’, as the jurisprudence on article 10 requires.’


Hooper LJ, Singh J


[2012] EWHC 13 (Admin)


Bailii, Judiciary


England and Wales


CitedWest Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette 14-Jun-1943
(United States Supreme Court) Jackson J said: ‘If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion . .
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 . .
CitedA v Secretary of State for the Home Department, and X v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Dec-2004
The applicants had been imprisoned and held without trial, being suspected of international terrorism. No criminal charges were intended to be brought. They were foreigners and free to return home if they wished, but feared for their lives if they . .
CitedRegina v British Broadcasting Corporation ex parte Pro-life Alliance HL 15-May-2003
The Alliance was a political party seeking to air its party election broadcast. The appellant broadcasters declined to broadcast the film on the grounds that it was offensive, being a graphical discussion of the processes of abortion.
Held: . .
CitedRegina v Director of Public Prosecutions, ex parte Kebilene and others HL 28-Oct-1999
(Orse Kebeline) The DPP’s appeal succeeded. A decision by the DPP to authorise a prosecution could not be judicially reviewed unless dishonesty, bad faith, or some other exceptional circumstance could be shown. A suggestion that the offence for . .
CitedBladet Tromso and Stensaas v Norway ECHR 20-May-1999
A newspaper and its editor complained that their right to freedom of expression had been breached when they were found liable in defamation proceedings for statements in articles which they had published about the methods used by seal hunters in the . .
CitedHandyside v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Dec-1976
Freedom of Expression is Fundamental to Society
The appellant had published a ‘Little Red Schoolbook’. He was convicted under the 1959 and 1964 Acts on the basis that the book was obscene, it tending to deprave and corrupt its target audience, children. The book claimed that it was intended to . .
CitedThe Sunday Times (No 1) v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Apr-1979
Offence must be ;in accordance with law’
The court considered the meaning of the need for an offence to be ‘in accordance with law.’ The applicants did not argue that the expression prescribed by law required legislation in every case, but contended that legislation was required only where . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Environment, ex parte Powis CA 1981
Material not available to the decision maker should not normally be admitted on an application for a judicial review of that decision. The court described three categories of acceptable new evidence: (1) evidence to show what material was before the . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State For The Home Department, Ex Parte Launder HL 13-Mar-1997
The question arose as to whether or not the decision of the Secretary of State to extradite the applicant to Hong Kong would have amounted to a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. Although the Convention was not at that time in force . .
CitedBamber v United Kingdom ECHR 11-Sep-1997
The Commission declared inadmissible a complaint that Standing Order 5 G 2B infringed Article 10. The Order precluded prisoners from contacting the media by telephone except in exceptional circumstances. The Standing Order satisfied the requirement . .
CitedNilsen v United Kingdom ECHR 9-Mar-2010
The applicant had been convicted of the most serious offences including several violent murders, and was held under a whole life tarriff. He wished to publish his autobiography from prison.
Held: The application was inadmissible. He had . .
CitedBergens Tidende And Others v Norway ECHR 2-May-2000
A newspaper complained that its rights under Article 10 of the Convention had been infringed by a libel action which a cosmetic surgeon had successfully brought against it in respect of defamatory articles it had published saying he was incompetent. . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for The Home Department Ex Parte Simms HL 8-Jul-1999
Ban on Prisoners talking to Journalists unlawful
The two prisoners, serving life sentences for murder, had had their appeals rejected. They continued to protest innocence, and sought to bring their campaigns to public attention through the press, having oral interviews with journalists without . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Prisons, Media, Human Rights

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.450213