Background to the case

Background Information

This is a summary of key developments in the Eight Women’s case, prepared for attendees of the press conference held on 20 November 2015.

WHEN IT STARTED
In Dec 2011 Birnberg Pierce launched a legal action on behalf of eight women who were deceived into long-term intimate relationships by five police officers who had infiltrated social and environmental justice campaigns. The claims included human rights claims and common law claims.

 

“The women assert that the actions of the undercover officers breached their rights as protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, including Article 3 (no one shall be subject to inhumane and degrading treatment) and Article 8 (respect for private and family life, including the right to form relationships without unjustified interference by the state). The women are also bringing common law claims for deceit, assault, misfeasance in public office and negligence.”
WHY

The eight women bringing this legal action are doing so to highlight and prevent the continuation of psychological, emotional and sexual abuse of campaigners and others by undercover police officers. 

‘We come from different backgrounds and have a range of political beliefs and interests, and we are united in believing that every woman, and every person, has a right to participate in the struggle for social and environmental justice, without fear of persecution, objectification, or interference in their lives.’  – ‘Where we stand’ Statement.

KEY STAGES IN THE LEGAL BATTLE
         
Battle against secret court (IPT) : Police attempt to force use of secret court. Judge Tugendhat rules that human rights cases should be held in IPT but common law-only ones should be in open court (Jan 2013), but delayed until after IPT.
– High Court permits secrecy
– Jan 2013
After appeal in Oct 2013 Tugendhat’s judgement upheld, but that delay removed.
– Response to appeal judgment – Oct 2013
Fighting the police’s attempt to “strike-out” the case : One line of attack in struggle to force the police to adhere to normal civil court procedures.
NCND : Another line of attack in struggle to force police to adhere to normal civil court procedures.
– Women issue legal challenge to NCND in court – June 2014
Partial NCND victory – Met police finally admit Lambert & Boyling were cops  – Aug 2014
 
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