National Security

Practice Summary

Since 1997 closed material has been used in a narrow but expanding range of proceedings where the government states that there is a risk to national security from the disclosure of relevant information. These include deportation appeals in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), challenges to the use of investigatory powers in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), proceedings in the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission (POAC), employment appeals, and more recently proceedings in the High Court relating to control orders, financial sanctions and TPIMs.


The use of closed material in court proceedings is set to expand significantly in the light of the Justice and Security Act which came into force on 25 April 2013. The implementation of that Act, particularly in civil claims for damages, will raise important issues of constitutional and human rights law, as well as numerous difficult practical questions.


Chambers has a significant number of practitioners with detailed experience of litigating in courts and tribunals where the government seeks to rely on closed material. That experience includes:

  • Challenges to the legality of the attempt to rely on closed material both at common law and under the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • Challenges to attempts to divert proceedings from the High Court into closed tribunals such as the IPT.
  • Representing individuals in deportation appeals, bail applications, control order proceedings and TPIMs where closed material is relied on.
  • Representing family members and others in inquests where sensitive material is deployed.
  • Acting as Special Advocates.


In addition several of Chambers’ senior criminal and extradition practitioners have extensive experience in the most serious terrorist criminal and extradition cases. Members of Chambers’ international law team, meanwhile, have experience in the investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences at an international level.

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