FIRST EVER CLOSED HEARING IN THE UK SUPREME COURT – BANK MELLAT’S CASE

Today the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has held a closed hearing for the first time in its history.  It has been hearing Bank Mellat’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgment refusing to set aside the United Kingdom’s direction preventing people operating in the financial sector in the UK from doing business with the Bank (an Order in Council made under the Counter Terrorism Act 2008).

The Treasury had made that Order on the grounds that the Bank was alleged to provide banking services to a UN listed organisation connected to Iran’s proliferation sensitive activities, and had been involved in transactions related to financing Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme.  The High Court and Court of Appeal rejected the Bank’s arguments that the Order was disproportionate, discriminatory, and procedurally unfair [2012] QB 101.

The General Court of the European Union quashed the Bank’s designation by the EU before the Supreme Court hearing, on the grounds that the reasons given for its designation were too vague and unsupported by evidence (Case T-496/10 – see blogs on Bank Mellat)

The Bank, supported by Liberty, opposed the Government’s application for the Supreme Court to consider the “closed” judgment of the High Court in which secret evidence was considered but not disclosed to the Bank (the statutory scheme permits CMPs in the High Court and Court of Appeal but is silent on the Supreme Court).  The Supreme Court gave a preliminary ruling, holding (by a majority of 6 to 3) that it had jurisdiction to consider the closed judgment and to hold a closed hearing if necessary.

Today it held a closed hearing for the first time in its history, Lord Neuberger describing it as an “unhappy procedure”.  The Bank was represented by a special advocate but the Bank itself could not see the material or attend the closed hearing.  The Court has not yet decided whether to give a closed as well as an open judgment.

This entry was posted in Court Procedure, Iran, Terrorist Sanctions, United Kingdom Sanctions and tagged by Maya Lester. Bookmark the permalink.

About Maya Lester

Maya Lester is recommended in the legal directories as a leading junior in the fields of Administrative & Public Law, Competition & European Law, Civil Liberties & Human Rights. She was selected by The Times as one of the 10 Future Stars of the Bar in 2008, and was nominated in 2010 and 2011 for Competition/EU Junior of the Year at Chambers Bar Awards. She has particular expertise in European Union and United Nations targeted sanctions, and has represented hundreds of designated individuals and companies in the European courts. She has extensive experience of all areas of Competition and European Union law, including in relation to regulatory investigations, abuse of dominance, cartels, free movement, fundamental rights and freedoms, actions for annulment in the General Court, and references to the Court of Justice. She is described as "stellar" (Chambers & Partners 2013), "fiercely bright and hardworking" (Legal 500 2012), and a "top-notch performer" (Chambers & Partners 2011). In her wide ranging Public Law, Human Rights and Public International Law practice, Maya Lester regularly appears for and advises individuals, companies, government departments, regulators and public interest groups. She is a member of the Attorney General's B Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown and Freedom of Information Panel, and is vetted for National Security work. She is described as "a fantastic junior" in Administrative & Public Law, and "clearly very bright and focused" with "great attention to detail". Maya Lester is regularly involved in cases of an international nature, having been educated at Yale Law School (after Cambridge University), Columbia Law School (New York) as a Visiting Scholar, has spent time working at the European Court of Justice and is currently a Bingham Centre Fellow researching targeted sanctions regimes.

4 thoughts on “FIRST EVER CLOSED HEARING IN THE UK SUPREME COURT – BANK MELLAT’S CASE

  1. Pingback: BANK MELLAT AND BANK SADERAT CASES FIGHT ON… | European Sanctions Blog

  2. Pingback: UK SUPREME COURT QUASHES ORDER AGAINST BANK MELLAT | European Sanctions Blog

Please Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s