BBC MI5 case: open hearing held

Court to sit both open and closed to hear government injunction application

An open hearing was held yesterday in proceedings brought by the Attorney General for an injunction against the BBC in respect of a planned report about an MI5 agent.  The BBC alleges that the agent is a dangerous extremist and misogynist who physically and psychologically abused two former female partners and that MI5 should have known about the agent’s behaviour and realised that it was inappropriate to use him as an agent.

The application is listed for two days.

In a judgment handed down on 24 February 2022, Mr Justice Chamberlain held that the application should be heard in both open and closed sessions, the open session not being in private.  5RB reported on the judgment here.

Yesterday’s hearing was mostly open.  The closed part of the hearing takes place today, pursuant to ss.6 and 8 Justice and Security Act 2013, during which time the BBC’s interests will be represented by Special Advocates.

5RB’s Adam Wolanski QC and Hope Williams, led by Lord Pannick QC, are instructed by the BBC