Prince Harry’s court battle with the British government is getting more complicated by the day. The prince’s attorney has received a scolding from the presiding judge after confidential court documents were leaked.
Harry’s Case Against The British Government
After the British government stopped providing protection for Harry and his family in the UK, Harry is now suing them. Their reasoning? They are not eligible for tax-payer-funded security because Harry and Meghan Markle have retired as working royals. Harry believes that there is a high threat against his family and that they require a security detail with jurisdiction in the UK as well as access British security information.
The lawsuit is controversial, and it looks like Harry’s lawyer is not making things any easier. His attorney, Shaheed Fatima, shared an embargoed version of a judgment—meant only for the lawyers involved in the case—with former British Army Major General Tim Robinson.
Robinson is a partner at Schillings. The law firm that the prince hired to represent him is not his. He should not have been provided with a copy. Jonathan Swift is the presiding judge. It was quoted in Evening StandardSay it!, “It seems to me there was a breach of the embargo, the draft judgment should not have been provided to Mr Robinson.”
The Presiding Judge Demanded An Apology From Harry’s Attorney
Fatima and Harry’s team claim there was no breach, but Judge Swift disagreed: “Let me disabuse you of that notion—there has been a breach.”Fatima was also criticised by him for her reaction to the breach. “It is also unacceptable you have come here without an apology.”
Swift was told by Fatima that she claimed full responsibility for the leakage of the documents. “With the benefit of hindsight, I should have thought more fully—before the emails were sent—about Mr Robinson’s status, and with the benefit of hindsight I should have, out of an abundance of caution, contacted the court.”
Swift was quick to respond. “It’s not for me to require you to apologize. It should be a matter for you as a matter of professional conscience. If you chose not to, there is nothing I propose to do about it.”Fatima made an apology, saying: “I am very sorry for the fact I didn’t think fully before the emails were sent and I didn’t contact the court sooner.”
Large Decisions on the Lawsuit
The next step was to decide what information should become public in the security lawsuit. The court ruled that portions of Harry’s suit against the U.K. Home Office would remain confidential in order to protect members of the royal family and others who receive police protection.
Harry’s lawsuit against the British government is still ongoing, but with information leaks like this and the amount of public interest in the case, it might take a while for this case to be settled.
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