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National Security and 'Closed Material' procedure

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 Thanks to Barnaby Large of No.18 Barristers Chambers for preparing this case summary.

Can an employment tribunal prevent an employee from giving instructions, from knowing the full gist of the case against him and from disclosure on national security grounds?

Yes, held the Court of Appeal in Kiani v Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Mr Kiani, an immigration officer, had his security clearance withdrawn and later dismissed without reason. His race and religious discrimination claims were met with a defence on grounds of national security.

The employment tribunal excluded Mr Kiani from giving instructions to his special advocate, denied him disclosure and knowing more fully the gist of the defence.

Mr Kiani's was unsuccessful at the EAT and appealed to the Court of Appeal arguing, amongst other things, that a person should always be informed of the essence of the grounds for alleged treatment and was entitled to a minimum level of disclosure.

Unanimously dismissing the appeals and rejecting application to the CJEU, the Court of Appeal held there was no absolute right to know the full gist of the case and for disclosure. Employment tribunals should decide whether the reasons to deny usual entitlements were well-founded and, if so, to strike a balance between the right to a fair trial and protection of national security.