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The Court of Appeal has today rejected an appeal by Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the centre of the phone-hacking scandal, over a High Court order forcing him to disclose who instructed him.
The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger, and the vice-president of the Court of Appeal Lord Justice Maurice Kay were convened to hear the appeal in November.
Mulcaire instructed his lawyers to challenge Mr Justice Vos’s February 2011 decision that he should disclose who instructed him to intercept the voicemails of comedian Steve Coogan.
Payne Hicks Beach partner Sarah Webb, who has represented Mulcaire throughout the civil proceedings brought against him, instructed Doughty Street Chambers’ Gavin Millar QC to lead 5RB’s Alex Marzec.
Millar argued that the appellate court should overturn the ruling because Mulcaire should be able to rely on privilege against self incrimination (PSI).
Schillings partner John Kelly, who has been instructed by Coogan in all his claims relating to the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, instructed Hogarth Chambers’ Jeremy Reed.
Kelly said: “This is a very significant decision and is a landmark ruling in the area of PSI. The Coogan decision is likely to be relied upon by other phone-hacking victims to assist them in their cases against NGN [News Group Newspapers] and Mulcaire.”
The appeal centered around the construction of Section 72 of the Senior Courts Act 1981, which restricts the use of the privilege against self incrimination in certain types of cases.
The Court of Appeal unanimously rejected Mulcaire’s appeal on all grounds and upheld the original order obtained by Coogan.