Groundbreaking UK Court of Appeal case grants the media the right to see documents used in criminal cases

On 3rd April 2012, the UK Court of Appeal’s decision in R (Guardian News and Media Ltd) v City of Westminster Magistrates Court granted the media the right to see documents that are used in criminal proceedings. The Guardian had sought documents used to justify the extradition of British nationals Jeffrey Tesler and Wojciech Chodan to the US according to the Extradition Act 2003 for involvement in a conspiracy to channel bribes worth £118 million to Nigerian officials and politicians. The Guardian requested documents referred to in the extradition hearings, but the District Judge did not grant the application. The Guardian applied for judicial review, and the Administrative Court dismissed the application. The Guardian appealed, and the Appeal Court allowed the appeal based on the constitutional principle of open justice, in a groundbreaking move towards a more transparent, documents-based case system.

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