The denial of interim relief to David Miranda

The Queen on the Application of David Miranda v. Secretary of State for the Home Dept and Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, CO/11732/2013, EWHC 2609 (Admin.) (High Ct of Justice Q.B. Div’l Ct. Aug. 23, 2013)

This proceeding concerned the application of David Miranda, the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, for interim relief to stop the defendants from examining and informing third parties of the contents of the material found on the laptop, telephone, memory sticks, portable hard drive and other items that officers seized from him on August 18 during his detention at Heathrow Airport. Balancing “two interests of high importance, the protection of journalistic sources and the protection of national security,” the High Court ruled that pending a hearing on August 30, the authorities would be allowed to inspect the materials seized from Mr. Miranda for the purpose of determining whether there were “reasonable grounds for suspecting that [he was] a person [who] ‘is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism’ (Section 40(1)(b) [of the Terrorism Act 2000])’.” In addition, inspection and disclosure of the contents of the material would be allowed for the purpose of protecting national security.

At the start of the scheduled hearing before the High Court on August 30, the parties stated that they had agreed that the government could continue to examine the seized material under similar conditions to those set forth in the Court’s judgment of August 23. On August 30, the court set a “rolled up” hearing for a future date on Miranda’s application for permission to seek judicial review, with substantive judicial review to follow if the application was granted.

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