Informants and the Justice and Security Act 2013: when government hoists the neither confirm, nor deny flag, the court should not automatically salute it

Excellent analysis

Covert Policing Law Blog

The Court of Appeal in McGartland v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 686 has recently considered procedural issues arising out of a civil claim brought by the well-known informant Martin “Marty” McGartland against the Security Service for alleged breach of promise and negligence arising out of the way “arrangements” for his re-settlement in England were managed after “his cover was blown” and the IRA kidnapped him. The account of his work, capture and escape has been the subject of a book and film both entitled “Fifty Dead Men Walking”.

In defending the proceedings, the Government adopted the policy of “Neither Confirm Nor Deny” (NCND) and filed a limited defence. Following the introduction of the Justice and Security Act 2013 (the 2013 Act) an application was made by the claimant to require the defendant to plead a full defence and the defendant applied for a declaration…

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