Jonathan Crystal of Goldmith Chambers for Applicant instructed by the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
Matthew Nicklin QC of 5 RB for the Respondent instructed by Eversheds.
The Applicant (JTR) sought permission to bring committal proceedings against the Respondent (HNL) for telling lies in witness statements. The witness statements alleged to contain the lies were made in support of a claim by HNL for an injunction to restrain the misuse, by disclosure, of private information about sexual activities. The privacy claim was successful.
The court heard the application in private, made an order for the parties identities to be withheld and for anonymisation by the use of three letter pseudonyms which were not the same as in the privacy action.
The judge (Mr Justice Warby) set out the legal principles to be applied in deciding whether to grant permission and went on to condut the public interest assessment. The judge concluded that the Applicant had a prima facie case (not a strong prima facie case) and for that reason and others including the likely significant consumption of public resources he refused the application.
The judgment is of interest to practitioners for the restatement by the judge of the public interest element in committal proceedings and the reminder that the system of justice depends above all upon honesty;
’33. I am highly conscious of the strength of the public interest in holding to account those who make false statements in their evidence to the court, and the high importance of upholding that public interest in relation to privacy proceedings in particular’.
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Related barristers: Jonathan Crystal