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Anti-terrorism Control Orders

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 10 February 2010, Official Report, column 1053W, on control orders, if he will set out the working practices which allow judges and special advocates to access closed judgments; and if he will make a statement. (318762)

[holding answer 25 February 2010]: There are no restrictions on judges accessing closed judgments unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Practical arrangements have been developed to enable special advocates to see closed judgments in cases in which they are not instructed. The Special Advocates Support Office (SASO) maintains a library and database of all closed judgments. If a special advocate wishes to see a closed judgment he or she directs a request to the SASO, giving reasons why he or she needs to see it.

SASO will provide the judgment as long as adequate justification is provided. SASO keep a record of to whom and when judgments have been provided and notify the Home Office of the details via the Treasury Solicitor’s Department. Once a special advocate has seen a closed judgment in a case in which he or she is not instructed, he or she will be prevented from acting in any related cases unless the individual in that case indicates in advance that they do not wish to meet with the special advocate.