Christopher Knight in Prince Harry Protective Security Judicial Review


The Administrative Court has handed down judgment in R (Duke of Sussex) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWHC 682 (Admin), in which it outlines the basis of a claim made by the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, against the Secretary of State in relation to decisions taken in relation to arrangements for his protective security. In particular, the Duke of Sussex challenges as unlawful the decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (known as RAVEC) made in relation to the security arrangements which will be applicable to him following his decision to step back as a working member of the Royal Family and move, with his family, overseas. 

The judgment of Swift J applies various redactions and confidentiality restrictions to the Claimant’s Statement of Facts and Grounds, in order to protect his security and the security of others in receipt of police protection through the auspices of RAVEC, so as to prevent an unredacted version being disclosed from the Court file under CPR rule 5.4C. The details of RAVEC’s decision and its application to the Duke of Sussex are, for obvious reasons, not to be released into the public domain. The Court also ordered the removal of certain aspects of the evidence filed on behalf of the Duke of Sussex which it held to be irrelevant to the legal issues arising on the claim. 

The Secretary of State has not yet filed her Acknowledgement of Service and Summary Grounds of Resistance, and the claim has accordingly not yet been considered for permission, but the Secretary of State made clear in her skeleton argument for the confidentiality hearing before Swift J that the claim would be defended and permission opposed. The claim is believed to be the first occasion on which a member of the Royal Family has brought legal proceedings against Her Majesty’s Government. 

The judgment of Swift J can be read here.

Christopher Knight acts for the Secretary of State for the Home Department, instructed by GLD.