Times Newspapers Ltd and others v Soldier B: CACD 24 Oct 2008

(Court’s Martial Appeal Court) The newspaper appealed against an order under section 94 of the 1955 Act restricting the identification of the defendants. The judge had said there would be a threat to both the safety of the defendants and as to the administration of justice and national security. It was now accepted that the actual order made was wider than necessary and beyond the powers available under the 1955 Act. The prosecution had now offered no evidence.
Held: The court could not revisit the earlier hearings to make public the material placed before them. The court had powers beyond those of the 1955 Act, including under the 1981 Act and at common law. The justifiable policy of the Special Forces in not identifying its members did not of itself justify the court applying the same rule. In this case there was a demonstrated risk to the lives of the defendants, and anonymity was a reasonable and proportionate response.


Lord Justice Latham, Mr Justice Mackay and Mr Justice King


[2008] EWCA Crim 2559




Contempt of Court Act 1981, Army Act 1955 94


England and Wales


CitedScott v Scott HL 5-May-1913
Presumption in Favour of Open Proceedings
There had been an unauthorised dissemination by the petitioner to third parties of the official shorthand writer’s notes of a nullity suit which had been heard in camera. An application was made for a committal for contempt.
Held: The House . .
CitedAttorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd HL 1-Feb-1979
The appellants were magazines and journalists who published, after committal proceedings, the name of a witness, a member of the security services, who had been referred to as Colonel B during the hearing. An order had been made for his name not to . .
CitedRegina v Reigate Justices ex parte Argus Newspapers and Larcombe 1983
The court considered an application by the defendant, a ‘supergrass’ for his trial to be held in camera.
Held: Such an order was possible but should only be made if it was the only way of protecting the defendant. . .
CitedRegina v Evesham Justices, ex parte McDonnagh QBD 1988
The court considered the existence of a power in the magistrates court to order a hearing to be held in camera and referred to section 11 of the 1981 Act. Watkins LJ said: ‘However, I am bound to say that I am impressed with the argument that the . .
CitedTrinity Mirror and Others, Regina (on the Application Of) v Croydon Crown Court CACD 1-Feb-2008
The defendant had pleaded guilty in the Crown Court to 20 counts of making or possessing child pornography. No direction was made for withholding the defendant’s identity in court, but the Crown Court made an order in the interest of the defendant’s . .
CitedIn re Officer L HL 31-Jul-2007
Police officers appealed against refusal of orders protecting their anonymity when called to appear before the Robert Hamill Inquiry.
Held: ‘The tribunal accordingly approached the matter properly under article 2 in seeking to ascertain . .
CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
Inherent High Court power may restrain Publicity
The claimant child’s mother was to be tried for the murder of his brother by poisoning with salt. It was feared that the publicity which would normally attend a trial, would be damaging to S, and an application was made for reporting restrictions to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Armed Forces, Media

Updated: 25 October 2022; Ref: scu.278289