Backing on undercover sex cases
A ruling that some actions brought by people who claim they were tricked into forming relationships with undercover police officers can be heard by a tribunal which may sit in private has been backed by t he Court of Appeal .
Mr Justice Tugendhat gave the go-ahead in January for the cases brought under common law by 10 women and one man, who want compensation for emotional trauma allegedly caused by officers infiltrating environmental activist groups.
But he said that claims brought under the Human Rights Act against the Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police should be determined by the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT), which holds a number of hearings in private and has no obligation to take oral evidence.
Today, the Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson, Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Lady Justice Sharp said the IPT did have jurisdiction to decide all the human rights claims.
They went on to allow the appeal against the judge's decision to stay the High Court proceedings pending the determination of proceedings at the IPT.
The women say they had a sexual relationship with a man who was later discovered to be a covert human intelligence source (CHIS), while the male claimant alleges a non-sexual relationship.
The police have argued that the IPT, which was formed in 2000, was the appropriate forum for all the claims as Parliament intended such cases to be decided by a specialist tribunal with a specially tailored procedure.
Some of the claimants say they had relationships with Mark Kennedy, the undercover police officer who spent seven years spying on environmental activists posing as Mark ''Flash'' Stone.