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For many international litigants the draw of the English courts is their transparency.
The Court of Appeal (CoA) showed its support for justice being seen to be done when it cited the 100-year-old House of Lords ruling in Scott v Scott(1913) AC 417 , which sets the concept in stone.
This was the message given to two Saudi princes who have twice attempted to get their case heard behind closed doors. Lord Justice Maurice Kay gave his full backing to Mr Justice Morgan in rejecting the application
First time around the pair had turned to Clifford Chance’s Iain Roxborough, who provided a witness statement, urging that his clients faced “death and reprisals” should the case be heard in open court.
At the CoA they went to Irwin Mitchell and 5RB’sMark Warby QC, who argued that Morgan J had not given enough attention to the litigants’ right to reputation.
Not so, the Lord Justices responded. To lower the threshold in court transparency would be the thin end of the wedge – just how long would it be before corporates start asking for the same?