CLOSE

Media Defence Intervenes in David Miranda High Court Challenge

Media Defence Intervenes in David Miranda High Court Challenge

The High Court is hearing the judicial review application of David Miranda in relation to his detention earlier this year under the Terrorism Act 2000. The Media Legal Defence Initiative together with Article 19 and English PEN intervened in the case, arguing that Mr Miranda’s detention under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act was in violation of international human rights law.

David Miranda is the partner of Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported in the Guardian on the surveillance of internet and phone communications by US intelligence in light of information obtained by Edward Snowden. He was detained for nine hours at Heathrow on 18 August 2013 under the Terrorism Act 2000 and required to hand over encrypted computer disks and various other materials that he was carrying.

The case highlights the ongoing abuse of terrorism laws in violation of the right to freedom of expression around the world. In 2012, 132 of 232 journalists in prison were jailed under anti-terrorism or national security laws. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression has criticised the unlawful targeting of journalists under such laws. EthiopiaTurkey and Morocco are amongst the countries that have recently jailed journalists under anti-terrorism laws.

The intervention made by MLDI, English PEN and Article 19 argues that the detention of Mr Miranda under the Terrorism Act violates the right to freedom of expression. Mr Miranda was assisting in journalistic activity when he was detained – his flight had been paid for by the Guardian, and he was carrying journalistic materials that were deemed too sensitive to email. The intervention argues that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, under which Mr Miranda was detained, violates human rights law by failing to require judicial authorisation before a person can be compelled to reveal journalistic information. Furthermore, the intervention argues that Mr Miranda should never have been detained under Schedule 7 as his journalistic activity did not amount to being concerned in terrorism. Reporting on terrorism and should never itself be considered as an act of terrorism. Nani Jansen, Senior Legal Counsel at MLDI commented that “the public interest in the information held by Mr Miranda means that the case is one where the most stringent protection of journalistic material should have been provided.”

MLDI is extremely grateful for the pro bono assistance of barristers Can Yeginsu and Anthony Jones, both of 4 New Square, in drafting the submissions for the intervention.

The intervention can be downloaded below.

 

Attached files:
PDF icon R(Miranda) v SSHD Intervention.pdf

Recent News

Call for Consultants: Update of Training Materials on Freedom of Expression in South and Southeast Asia

Purpose of the consultancy contract This is a call for consultants to review and update eleven existing training modules on freedom of expression in South and Southeast Asia. Background Media Defence’s vision is a world where journalists no longer face legal challenges that threaten their ability to report freely and independently on issues of public […]

Read

Media Defence et l’Impact Lab pour l’Etat de droit de Stanford Law School saisissent la Cour de justice de la CEDEAO contre les coupures d’internet ordonnées par l’Etat sénégalais

Le recours au nom d’AfricTivistes et de deux journalistes sénégalais vise à obtenir des mesures provisoires pour empêcher de nouvelles coupures d’Internet   READ IN ENGLISH   Dakar, le 13 février 2024 – Media Defence et le Rule of Law Impact Lab de la Stanford Law School ont déposé un recours devant la Cour de justice […]

Read

Media Defence and SLS’s Rule of Law Impact Lab File Case Before ECOWAS Court Challenging Senegal Internet Shutdowns

Filing on behalf of AfricTivistes and Two Senegalese Journalists Seeks Interim Measures to Prevent Internet Shutdowns.   READ IN FRENCH   Dakar, February 13, 2024 – Media Defence and the Rule of Law Impact Lab at Stanford Law School have filed a lawsuit before the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West […]

Read