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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions >> Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 879 (QB) (27 March 2014)
Cite as:  EWHC 879 (QB)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| ANDREW MITCHELL MP
|- and -
|NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD
Desmond Browne QC (instructed by Slater & Gordon (UK) LLP) for Mr Rowland
Jeremy Johnson QC (instructed by the Metropolitan Police Directorate of Legal Services) for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Richard Munden (instructed by Atkins Thomson) for Mr Mitchell MP
Hearing date: 24 March 2104
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Tugendhat :
"The Sun Newspaper reported that the claimant, then the Chief Whip of the Conservative Party, had raged against police officers at the entrance to Downing Street in a foul mouthed rant shouting "you're f…ing plebs". The incident, which received wide coverage, has since become known as "plebgate"."
"(1) This rule applies where an application is made to the court under any Act for disclosure by a person who is not a party to the proceedings.
(2) The application must be supported by evidence.
(3) The court may make an order under this rule only where–
(a) the documents of which disclosure is sought are likely to support the case of the applicant or adversely affect the case of one of the other parties to the proceedings; and
(b) disclosure is necessary in order to dispose fairly of the claim or to save costs.
(4) An order under this rule must –
(a) specify the documents or the classes of documents which the respondent must disclose; and
(b) require the respondent, when making disclosure, to specify any of those documents –
(i) which are no longer in his control; or
(ii) in respect of which he claims a right or duty to withhold inspection."
"It is elementary, of course, as in relation to the disclosure of documents more generally, that in determining whether a document or class of documents has a potentially relevant bearing on one or more of the live issues in the case, one should focus narrowly on the pleadings as they stand, in order to see how the issues have been defined up to that point. Thus, as I have already pointed out, one cannot be guided by speculation as to how a different case might be pleaded, after a new source of documents is investigated, or as to matters which are merely canvassed in evidence – without being incorporated into a pleading."
"(h) Witness evidence from other police officers who either witnessed the incident or became aware of the incident shortly afterwards (and associated notes and emails)…
(i) Witness evidence from those who spoke to Mr Mitchell shortly after the incident (and associated notes and emails)…
(k) Transcripts of interviews with police officers in which the specific details of the incident are addressed…"