Art.10 rights attenuated by contract: R (Craighead) v Secretary of State for Defence [2023] EWHC 2413 (Admin)

Grabbing his ballistic body armour, Diemaco C8 assault rifle and Glock 9mm pistol, and with a balaclava pulled over his head to protect his identity, the soldier swept into the area where the firefight was going on, engaged the enemy and led several civilians to safety outside.”

In January 2019, five terrorists launched a major attack at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 21 people. A then fully-badged SAS soldier, who goes by the pseudonym “Christian Craighead”, intervened, assisting the Kenyan authorities, and later earned an award for his conspicuous gallantry. Mr Craighead wishes to tell his story.

He wrote a book, which he wants to publish, providing “an insider’s account of how a young man with a difficult upbringing served his country and saved lives during the Incident”. He is bound, however, by a confidentiality contract providing that unless he obtains ‘express prior authority in writing’ (“EPAW”) he would not disclose any information about the work of the UK Special Forces. The Ministry of Defence refused EPAW on the basis of its assessment that the material in the book is covered by the confidentiality contract and its publication would cause damage to national security. Continue reading