Legal Battle Commences – Court Hearing Tues 18 March 2014

We recommend bookmarking this post – we will keeping it updated with links to the latest developments over this hearing.

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Latest updates:

  • The court hearing (18/3/14) has ended – the women have issued a statement here.
  • Before the hearing, the women’s solicitor, Harriet Wistrich, made a statement about why this hearing is important – see below.
  • Last week the police DROPPED their application to strike out the women’s common law claims – see the women’s response to the announcement.
  • To coincide with the hearing supporters are holding a week of solidarity action.

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11.30 am – STATEMENT FROM HARRIET WISTRICH :

Here’s a statement from Harriet Wistrich, the women’s solicitor, about why the hearing is important:

“So far, the police have not responded in a satisfactory way to the common law claims of the five women. The police issued a defence of ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’, and then applied for the claims to be struck out – an application they have now dropped.

“At the hearing today what we’re pushing for is a meaningful defence and disclosure so that the women can get answers to the allegations they have put to the Metropolitan Police over the serious intrusion and disruptions the women suffered.”

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11.00 am PICKET PHOTOS

We’ve received reports that there was a great turnout at the morning picket outside court in support of the women. See more info here.

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BACKGROUND TO THE HEARING

• Women successfully resist police attempt to strike out undercover police abuse casespolice withdraw application
• Now the legal battle commences – but police still obstructing justice

• Until just days before this hearing, five of the women in this case had been facing an attempt by the police to have their common law claims struck out. The police had claimed as they can ‘neither confirm, nor deny’ (NCND) anything about undercover policing, the trial should not proceed.

• The common law claims of “deceit, assault, misfeasance in public office and negligence” are made by the women who were deceived into long-term intimate relationships with undercover officers.

• ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ was always a flimsy excuse for dismissing the claims, yet rather than see it fall in court, the police have withdrawn their application for strike out – while still claiming publicly that NCND should stand.

• The police wasted months of the women’s time with the application – not to mention another ongoing secrecy battle over their human rights claims. All this has delayed the case from proceeding.

• There are fears that the police may use the announcement of a public inquiry to prevaricate further, while they and the government race to pretend that the abuses are merely ‘historical’, while doing nothing to prevent current or future abuses.

The undercover abuses stole from the women’s lives – now the police’s obstructive tactics deny them justice.

We must show the police and the political system that the women do not stand alone, and that we will not tolerate ongoing abuses.

The battle against secrecy is not over. The women and their support group will be asking for public support during the week of March 17-21, including a solidarity picket outside court on Tuesday 18 March.

For further updates and details please
– sign up to the supporters’ email list (see top right of this page)
– tell your friends about the case
– follow us on facebook or twitter
– if you are a journalist or blogger, send an email request to be added to the press list: media#@#policespiesoutoflives.org.uk (remove hashtags which are there to prevent spam)

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