31 May 2015

Anonymity, Authentication and Suppression Orders

'An Unprincipled Mess: Party Anonymity in Legal Proceedings in the United Kingdom' by Merris Amos in A. Koltay (ed.) The Fundamentals of Media Law (CompLex, 2016) argues
Over the last ten years in the United Kingdom (UK) there has been a significant increase in the willingness of courts and tribunals to grant anonymity to the parties to legal proceedings. In 15 percent of the judgments made by the Supreme Court in 2014, at least one of the parties had been granted anonymity. In 2010, the figure was even higher at 24 percent of all judgments for that year. By contrast in 2006, seven percent of the judgments of the highest court were anonymised and in 2002, it was only two percent. The rise in party anonymity has not gone unnoticed and the Supreme Court itself has observed that its docket can “read like alphabet soup”. Many media organisations are dissatisfied and maintain that there should be less anonymity in the courts whilst some campaigners and commentators argue that there should be more, particularly for those accused of a crime but not yet charged. The purpose of this chapter is not to take sides in this debate but to attempt to make sense of the present position and identify the main principles consistently applied by the courts when anonymity is requested by a party. Each principle is assessed to determine if its interpretation and application is sufficiently supported by the relevant jurisprudence. In the light of this assessment, a revised set of principles is suggested and the chapter concludes with a reconsideration, in the light of these revised principles, of a recent anonymity judgment as well as a discussion of how the revised principles might apply to a person accused of a sexual offence, but not yet charged. 
 'Data Security and Multi-Factor Authentication: Analysis of Requirements Under EU Law and in Selected EU Member States' (Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 194/2015) by Elizabeth Kennedy and Christopher Millard considers
certain legal requirements relating to data security in the EU, and specifically the use of multi-factor authentication as a method of meeting the security obligations established by European Directive 95/46 EC on the processing of personal data (the “Directive”). Following this Executive Summary, the Report comprises two sections: a discussion of the requirements of data security under European data protection legislation, and a study of selected national positions.