p. 18210. Public interest immunity
- Maureen SpencerMaureen SpencerFormer Associate Professor Middlesex University
- and John SpencerJohn SpencerBarrister
This chapter first explains exclusion of evidence on the grounds of the public interest immunity (PII) doctrine in relation to the public interest in non-disclosure of documents. The chapter examines areas of public interest that are covered by possible PII claims. These include national security, defence and foreign policy, protection of children, the identity of police informers, and confidential records held by public bodies. The difference between PII and closed material procedures (CMPs) is outlined. The chapter, concentrating on civil cases, lists the landmarks in the evolution of the common law doctrine. It considers the extent which it has been influenced by the Strasbourg jurisprudence. Attention is given to the role of national security matters in the evolution of the law.