Ward v Police Service of Northern Ireland: HL 21 Nov 2007

The appellant had sought judicial review of the decision to extend the warrant for his detention. On an application to extend the warrant of detention, the judge had excluded the appellant and his solicitor from the hearing for about 10 minutes to consider closed information and, when the hearing resumed, they were not informed of what had transpired during their absence. The application for an extension of the warrant was granted. The claimant appealed rejection of his application for judicial review.
Held: The appeal failed. It was lawful to exclude a terrorist suspect and his legal representative from an extension hearing so that the judicial authority could explore in sufficient detail whether the test for further detention had been satisfied. The power in para 33(3) is available where the judicial authority wishes to be satisfied that further detention is necessary to obtain relevant evidence by questioning the person to whom the application relates. It enables the judicial authority, in the detained person’s absence, to examine the topics are that are to be the subject of that exercise. But it must be read subject to para 34. So where the power to order that specified information be withheld from that person under that paragraph is available, an order to withhold it must be sought under that paragraph. As this was not that case, the appeal was dismissed.
Lord Bingham considered the need to observe the protections given: ‘Section 41 of the Act . . enables a constable to arrest without warrant a person whom he reasonably suspects to be a terrorist. The length of the detention that may follow on such an arrest is the subject of a carefully constructed timetable. This timetable, in its turn, is the subject of a series of carefully constructed procedural safeguards. The detained person’s right to liberty demands that scrupulous attention is paid to those safeguards’.

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hope of Craighead, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell and Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2007] UKHL 50, Times 22-Nov-2007, [2007] 1 WLR 3013, [2008] NI 138, [2008] 1 All ER 517, (2007) 151 SJLB 1531
Terrorism Act 2000
Northern Ireland
Cited by:
CitedSher and Others v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and Others Admn 21-Jul-2010
The claimants, Pakistani students in the UK on student visas, had been arrested and held by the defendants under the 2000 Act before being released 13 days later without charge. They were at first held incognito. They said that their arrest and . .

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Police, Criminal Practice

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Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.261584