UK Special Forces - Confidentiality Agreement

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Iolis, Jul 4, 2008.

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  1. The Ministry of Defence have applied for and succeeded in obtaining from the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court an injunction to enforce the term of a confidentiality agreement binding on Mr Griffin for the remainder of his life, signed by him on 12 June 2003 to restrain him from making any further disclosures without the prior approval of the Ministry of Defence.

    The case citation is Ministry of Defence v Benjamin Griffin [2008] EWHC (QB) 1542

    Most will recall that Mr Griffin resigned, as a mater of conscience from 22 SAS after becoming disillusioned with the conduct of the America's foreign policy and the United Kingdom's part in it in general, and the conduct of the American Forces in Iraq in particular. He has appeared in the media on a number of occasions and least once appearing with Jeremy Paxman on 'Newsnight'
     
  2. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Well, that'll shut him up then, I hope. He signed up to do 'naughty' things with THEM. He knew he had to keep his gob shut, and he signed a contract that enforced that. Going to the press and bleating after he had been allowed to serve in HM's finest is wrong.

    Just my humble opinion of course.
     
  3. But I thought NDAs were binding for life anyway?
     
  4. This is the key bit - "The essential issue before the court is whether Mr Griffin is permitted, as a matter of law, to exercise his own judgment in deciding what information is covered by his duty of confidence (whether contractual or otherwise) or, for that matter, in determining whether there is a wider public interest overriding his obligation".

    Now, without expressing an opinion one way or the other, it amuses me that when the judiciary fancy doing as they please they can find some part of the European Convention of Human Rights to hang it on - no matter how clear statutes are, no matter how explicit contracts are.

    But then when they want to find another way, everything is a simple matter of contract.

    We don't have the rule of law, we have the rule of judges. Something quite different.
     
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  5. That is correct proximo, the wording of the contractual agreement to that effect is in the body of the judgement. There was an unsuccessful legal challenge to the validity of such agreements a year or so ago.
     
  6. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    He is free to pontificate on air or in the papers on any matter he chooses, so long as it does not relate to SF, SF tactics, his time in SF, or matters relating to the SF in armed conflict in general. Nor for that matter, can he blather on about armed forces issues in respect of current deployments and his first-hand knowledge of them.

    If he wants to spout off with Jeremy Paxman about US foreign policy in general, or call Bush an ape, I believe that he still can.
     
  7. The thing that worries me is that everybody signs the OSA anyway. If you do something that compromises national security you can be shafted through that channel. If they want to apply some additional special provision to some groups then there has to be a mechanism where straightforward illegality on the part of the government can still be challenged. My suggestion - give people (say) 30 members of the Privy Council that they can contact - shaft them if they contact anyone else.

    But there has to be a mechanism, otherwise you create a little Praetorian Guard that Tony or Gordon can use as they please, and nobody to ever know. Do you really want to make the nation's fate depend on the unaccountable judgment of the prime minister of the day? There are downsides to parliamentary accountability, but there has to be something. Brown is talking about giving parliament a vote before going to war. There's an inconsistency between saying that, and then saying the government should have a force bound by special conditions of secrecy over and above the OSA that they can deploy as they see fit.
     
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  8. Couldnt agree more.
     
  9. How does this work for 'whistleblowing', which I thought was protected by law*... I mean, clearly we would want the freedom to allow us to speak out against what we believe to be wrong without fear of the consequences, wouldn't we?












    *probably isn't protected, but some corporal told me it was etc.,
     
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  10. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Good one Barbs, obviously MoD will try and get exemption but it looks bad on Neu Arbeit as it was one of their laws wasnt it or did John Major bring it in?