The history of Philip Kerr’s harassment claim against MI5
2011 – 2013 – Philip Kerr instructed John Weate (solicitor at RNMJ). John Weate entered into the first legal correspondence with MI5 and Merseyside Police in November 2011. John Weate also instructed barrister Anthony Barraclough. Philip recruited Debbie McCormack as his assistant. Philip, Debbie, John Weate and Tony Barraclough met with ex-MI5 agent and whistle-blower Annie Machon. John Weate approached John Allman to invite him to join the team.
July 2013 – January 2014 – John Allman first met Philip Kerr, Debbie McCormack and Tony Barraclough in July. Over a period of six months, John and Debbie debriefed Philip, and Philip, Debbie and John had several meetings with Tony Barraclough. Debbie and John had the opportunity to witness certain incidents of harassment themselves during this period.
Late 2013 – Tony Barraclough pointed out pitfalls of using the Human Rights Act to bring Philip’s claim, and John Allman suggested using the Protection From Harassment Act instead.
January 2014 – John Allman prepared a “Demands and Needs” spec for Philip’s proposed litigation, suggesting the use of the Protection From Harassment Act. and sent it to Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden (solicitor-advocate, who was then at Richard Slade & Co).
April 2014 – Philip, John Allman and Debbie met with Tim Lawson-Cruttenden.
April – September 2014 – preparation of claim and pre-action correspondence.
3rd October 2014 – Tim Lawson-Cruttenden issued Philip Kerr’s harassment claim in the High Court and served it upon the Attorney General.
October – November 2014 – Treasury Solicitor applied for strike-out of Philip’s claim, without a hearing. Master Fontaine refused strike-out without a hearing, and instead ordered an appointment for the strike-out application to be heard.
2nd February 2015 – Defendant’s strike-out application was heard by Senior Master Fontaine.
1st April 2015 – Judgment handed down and this Order made. The court refused to strike out the claim. The claim was stayed, with permission for the Claimant to apply for the stay to be lifted in the event that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal made a determination in the Claimant’s favour with which the Defendant had not complied.
14th April 2015 – Tim Lawson-Cruttenden lodged an appeal against the above-mentioned judgment (dated 1st April 2015) and order (dated 2nd February 2015) of Master Fontaine.
12th May 2015 – Cooke J refused permission to appeal, and made an order under CPR PD 52.3(4A)(a) prohibiting an oral reconsideration hearing, the appeal being (it was said) “wholly without merit”.
14th July 2015 – John Allman filed Philip’s T2 complaint in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal
20th January 2016 – Mr Lawson-Cruttenden represented Mr Kerr at a well-attended public hearing of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, to determine questions of jurisdiction: primarily, whether the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 conferred upon the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) the necessary jurisdiction for the tribunal to hear a harassment claim brought under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 against MI5, brought in the tribunal as a “T2” complaint under RIPA s65(2)(b), the disputed premise of Master Fontaine’s judgment. In the event, in its judgment, the IPT sidestepped having to rule on the jurisdiction questions, as requested in Mr Kerr’s T2 pleadings, by ordering Mr Kerr instead to bring his harassment claim under the Human Rights Act 1998, on a Form T1, rather than as a T2 complaint, as Master Fontaine had suggested was possible in her judgment.
26th January 2016 – John Allman filed Mr Kerr’s T1 claim in the IPT.
6th April 2016 – John Allman filed (electronically, as an Excel spreadsheet) Mr Kerr’s perfected pleadings, plus his evidence that MI5 was harassing him (more than 700 pages, including many still photographs, plus videos, and eleven witness statements, of ten witnesses). On 13th April 2016, Mr Kerr himself filed hard copy of the same.
12th July 2016 – IPT communicated in a letter that it could make “no determination” in favour of Mr Kerr, in response to either Mr Kerr’s T1 human rights claim, or his original T2 harassment claim/complaint.