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Case details

R (on the application of VIP Communications Ltd (In Liquidation)) (Respondent) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant)

Case ID: 2021/0019

Case summary

Issue

Can the Secretary of State direct the Office of Communications (Ofcom) not to introduce regulations exempting certain wireless telegraphy equipment from a licensing requirement on national security grounds?

Facts

The Respondent applicant VIP Communications was a company specialising in commercial multi–user gateways (“COMUGs”), a system which enables phone calls and text messages from landlines to be routed directly on to mobile networks. The Appellant is concerned that COMUGs give rise to national security and public safety concerns. This is because the COMUG system means that information identifying the caller is not conveyed to the network making identification almost impossible.

In 2017 Ofcom issued a notice stating its intention to make regulations exempting COMUGs from licensing requirements. In response the Secretary of State directed Ofcom that COMUGs should not be exempted. The Respondent brought Judicial Review proceedings arguing that the Secretary of State acted beyond their powers in giving the direction. The High Court and the Court of Appeal found that the Respondent was correct. The Secretary of State now appeals to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2020] EWCA Civ 1564

Parties

Appellant(s)

Secretary of State for the Home Department

Respondent(s)

VIP Communications Limited (In Liquidation)

Appeal

Justices

Lord Reed, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Sales, Lord Stephens, Lord Richards

Hearing start date

4 October 2022

Hearing finish date

4 October 2022

Watch hearing
4 Oct 2022 Morning session Afternoon session
 

Future Judgment Update

Please note that appeal in the matter of R (on the application of VIP Communications Ltd (In Liquidation)) (Respondent) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) has been heard by the Supreme Court and is currently awaiting judgment.

As soon as the judgment hand-down date is confirmed, it will be published on the Future judgments page of this website. As a very broad indication, judgments tend to follow between three to nine months after the conclusion of the appeal hearing, although in some cases it may be earlier than that. Information about judgment hand-downs is usually announced one week in advance. We are unable to give any indication of the likely hand-down date for judgments not listed on the Future judgments page.