• In the case of Tariq v Home Office [2011] UKSC 35, it was found that there doesn’t exist an absolute requirement in closed material procedures that the claimant is to be provided with enough information on the proceedings to bring a challenge on the allegations brought against him.

Facts of the Case

  • C was an employee of the Home Office whose security clearance was removed and was subsequently suspended when C’s family members were arrested during a terrorism investigation.
  • The employment tribunal utilised a closed material procedure in light of national security to conclude the case under section 10(6) of the Employment Tribunals Act 1996.
  • The tribunal found that C ought to be given sufficient detail about the ins and outs of the investigation to be able to satisfactorily challenge the claims that were being alleged against him.
  • The Court of Appeal also made the same declaration as the tribunal, and the Home Office appealed this.


  • Under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, should C have been provided with sufficient information in terms of the allegations made against him so that he can instruct him counsel and to challenge those allegations?

Held by the Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court allowed the Home Office’s appeal and found that the declaration of the Court of Appeal could be set aside because there isn’t any requirement for providing C with any details of the alleged claims against him so that they can instruct their legal counsel during a closed material procedure.

Lord Mance

  • His Lordship distinguished AF (No 3) and A v UK as such cases involved direct impingement on personal freedom of C. There was also emphasis on securing a balance between Article 6 and the public interest, which is determined by ‘the nature and weight of the circumstances on each side.”
  • “cases where the state is seeking to impose on the individual actual or virtual imprisonment are in a different category to the present, where an individual is seeking to pursue a civil claim for discrimination against the state which is seeking to defend itself.” [27]

Lord Hope

  • “There cannot, afterall, be an absolute rule that gisting must always be resorted to whatever the circumstances. There are no hard edged rules in this area of the law.”

Lord Kerr (dissenting)

  • His Lordship believed that it is an absolute requirement for C to be given ‘sufficient information about those allegations to be ale to give effective instructions to his special advocate’ which should not necessarily differ in this case. [132]
  • “It seems to me that there is no principled basis on which to draw a distinction between the essence of the right to a fair trial based on the nature of the claim that is made.” [132]