Mueen-Uddin (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent)
Case ID: 2022/0135
This case is about whether the Court of Appeal was correct to strike out a defamation claim as an abuse of process. The UKSC is asked to decide:
- Whether a foreign criminal conviction which a claimant did not have a full opportunity to contest was a relevant factor in showing that English proceedings which require determination of the same issues as those before the foreign criminal court are an abuse of process?
- Are prior press publications of defamatory allegations admissible evidence of bad reputation in this context if such publications have taken place some months prior to the publication complained of and are uncontradicted by a successful claim for libel?
- Can potential difficulties which the Respondent may have in proving the truth of the allegations which it had published about the conduct of the Appellant some 50 years ago be a relevant factor supporting a finding of abuse?
- Did the Court of Appeal err in finding that a combination of partial aspects of the Hunter and Jameel abuse jurisdictions, none of which necessarily amount to abuse on its own, can properly ground a finding of abuse of process?
The Appellant was born in Bangladesh (known at the time as 'East Pakistan') and later naturalised as a British citizen. During violence in 1971, when Bangladesh achieved independence from Pakistan, 18 intellectuals were murdered in Dhaka. In 1996, allegations were made in a channel 4 documentary accusing the Appellant of being involved in those murders. Later, in 2013, the Appellant was convicted in absentia and sentenced to death by the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh of crimes against humanity. The Appellant did not take any part in that trial. He has always denied the allegations made against him and maintained his innocence.
In October 2019, the Commission for Countering Extremism Commission (a non-statutory body expert committee for the Home Office) published report entitled 'Challenging Hateful Extremism'. The Report contained a footnote which referred to the Appellant's conviction and suggested he had links with violence in 1971. The Appellant sued the Secretary of State for the Home Department for libel and infringement of Articles 5, 6 and 10 GDPR. At the preliminary hearing it was held that the Report contained defamatory allegations of fact and personal data. The High Court struck out the Appellant's claim as an abuse of process. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision. The Appellant now appeals to the UK Supreme Court.
Secretary of State for the Home Department
Lord Reed, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen, Lord Burrows, Lord Richards
Hearing start date
1 November 2023
Hearing finish date
2 November 2023
|1 November 2023
|2 November 2023