UPDATE:
In March 2014, the police withdrew this application for strike out and secrecy. See further information here. The information below remains here as archive only.

Background:

The second battle over secrecy, set for March 2014, is over the women’s common law claims.

The police are attempting to centre this battle on their asserted ‘policy’ of Neither Confirm Nor Deny (NCND).

The police’s application is firstly that the claims be entirely ‘struck out’, but they asking that if the court doesn’t agree to that, they be granted secrecy orders.

What secrecy orders are the police asking for?

The police’s application for strike out is of course their ultimate attempt to maintain utter secrecy. But if their application fails, they are asking for court orders which would

  1. release them from standard disclosure obligations (providing documents as part of the court proceedings), and
  2. prevent the identities of each claimant, each police officer and each witness in the proceedings from being disclosed.

These secrecy orders would prevent full scrutiny of the evidence, and would inhibit full public understanding of what happened – including who is responsible.

The women who are bringing this case are doing so because they seek to highlight and prevent the continuation of psychological, emotional and sexual abuse of campaigners and others by undercover police units. Their case exposes both institutional sexism and institutional prejudice against members of the public engaged in social and environmental justice.

For a full overview of the case see The Case. For updates on the hearing in March 2014, see posts tagged Hearing March 2014.