Prince Harry wins tender to review Home Office police protection order


Prince Harry – Michael M Santiago/Getty Images

The Duke of Sussex won the right to a judicial review of the decision not to grant him automatic police protection whenever he is in the UK.

Judge Swift ruled on Friday that the case could go to judicial review. The Duke presented the claim on five grounds, four of which the judge said were “arguable”, although parts of the grounds were deleted.

“The application for leave to seek judicial review is partly granted and partly denied,” he said.

Prince Harry has launched a legal action against the Home Office, arguing that it had been denied a “clear and full explanation” of the composition of the responsible government committee and other people involved in its decision-making.

He said Sir Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary, should not have been involved in the decision to deny him police protection in the UK because of the “significant tensions” between them.

Shaheed Fatima QC, for the Duke, told the High Court he had not been told members of the Royal Household were involved in the decision.

She said it was not “appropriate” for them to have a say in the matter, complaining that the Duke had been told the committee responsible for the Home Office was “independent”.

“Special and unusual position”

The decision was taken by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (known as Ravec) in February 2020, shortly after the Duke announced he was stepping down as an active member. of the royal family and was moving abroad.

He acknowledges that the Duke is in a “special and unusual position” and may need protective security in certain circumstances, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Duke argued that he inherited the risk at birth and as such he and his family should enjoy permanent protective security in the UK regardless of their status as family members royal without work.

Ms Fatima argued that government policy ensured state security for all in the “immediate line of succession”.

“Too stiff”

She said it had been applied “too rigidly” because the Duke, who is sixth in line to the throne, had been excluded from this scope.

However, this ground was overruled by the judge, who said it was not illegal to limit the first six in line of succession to having an automatic security.

The judge also ruled that the role the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had offered to play in official royal life – their preferred hybrid role model – and discussions about it were irrelevant.

The judge also rejected the Duke’s claim that he should have known the identities of those sitting in Ravec, and was not given the opportunity to discuss the “relevance” of certain individuals’ involvement.

Judge Swift said: ‘During submissions it became apparent that although the claimant may have had disagreements with people who were members of the Ravec Committee, there was no evidence to support it. a claim that a committee member approached decisions with a closed mind.

“Ultimately, it was conceded for the plaintiff that no such case was or could be advanced.”

The judge added: “As anyone familiar with applications for judicial review knows, a finding at the leave stage that a case is arguable is some distance away from a finding that the case will succeed. at the final hearing.”