Permission to appeal decisions

Permission to appeal decisions by UK Supreme Court

Permission to appeal decisions on the policing of illegal parades in Belfast and a non-disclosure order against naming a person arrested, but not charged with a crime

18 February 2015

The Supreme Court has today announced its decisions on the following permission to appeal applications. These decisions were made by a panel of three Supreme Court Justices following a review of the relevant written submissions.

1. DB (AP) (Appellant) v Chief Constable of Police Service of Northern Ireland (Respondent) (Northern Ireland) UKSC 2014/0231

On appeal from the Court of Appeal Civil Division (Northern Ireland)

Permission for DB to appeal regarding the policing of an illegal parade in Belfast was granted.

On 3 December 2012 Belfast City Council decided to stop flying the union flag from the City Hall every day. In the following months, loyalist protesters conducted marches against this decision on an approximately weekly basis. The procession route passed through a nationalist area, Short Strand. The Appellant is a Short Strand resident who was affected by public disorder and violence caused by protesters. The protests were illegal because they were not notified to the police in advance, as required under the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998. During the period December 2012 to February 2013 the police did not attempt to stop the protests but acted to manage the associated public disorder. The Appellant challenges that policing strategy.

The legal issue in this case is whether the Police Service of Northern Ireland misdirected itself as to the extent of its legal powers to stop illegal parades. It also considers the appropriate standard of review and scope of discretion to be afforded to the police in making operational decisions concerning public order issues.

The Court of Appeal (NI) judgment being appealed is available here:

2. PNM (Appellant) v Times Newspapers Limited and others (Respondents) UKSC 2014/0270

On appeal from the Court of Appeal Civil Division (England and Wales)

Permission for PNM to appeal regarding his application for an interim non-disclosure order, preventing publishing of his name in the reporting of a trial, was granted.

The Appellant was arrested on 22 March 2012 in connection with an investigation into allegations of child sexual grooming and prostitution. He has never been charged with any offence as a result of the investigation. Nine men were prosecuted in connection with the investigation. During the trial the Appellant was referred to by name on several occasions before the jury. An order dated 4 February 2013 prohibited the publication of any report which would or would tend to implicate the Appellant. The Respondents applied to lift the order. The Appellant then applied for an interim non-disclosure order, preventing publishing of his name in reporting of the trial, which is the subject of the present appeal.

This case considers whether the Court of Appeal erred in its interpretation and application of the approach to be taken in balancing the privacy rights of a person arrested but not charged with a crime against the right of the press to report criminal proceedings following the Supreme Court's decision in A v British Broadcasting Corporation (Scotland) [2014] UKSC 25.

The Court of Appeal judgment being appealed is available here:

Other results of the most recent round of permission to appeal applications will be published in the next week or so on the Court's website.