AJA & others v Metropolitan Police and others – impact of NCND is overcome in undercover police claims

Heather Williams QC and Alex Gask, instructed by Bindmans LLP, act for three claimants seeking redress for the damage caused by the activities of an undercover police officer, who infiltrated their political group and deceived them into forming intimate relationships with him. The defendants had declined to plead a response to the claimants’ allegations, refusing to admit or deny that the man the claimants knew as ‘Mark Jacobs’ was in fact an undercover officer, citing reliance upon the policy of NCND (‘neither confirm nor deny’).  The defendants maintained this position in the face of an application from the claimants seeking further information.


At the hearing of this application in the High Court on 25 March 2015 Mitting J decided that the question of whether the defendants could rely on NCND did not need to be resolved, as long as the defendants confirmed they would not require the claimants to prove that ‘Mark Jacobs’ was in fact an undercover officer and the court would proceed on the basis this was not in issue when the claims were heard. The defendants agreed to this course.


This may provide a useful way for claimants to overcome the difficulties of establishing their case when claims are met by blanket assertions of NCND, at least where they are able to show to the court that there is cogent evidence supporting their allegations.

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