7th April 2014
Justice Hayne was appointed to the High Court of Australia in 1997. Among the decisions for which he is best known is his dissenting judgment in Thomas v Mowbray  HCA 33. In that case he took the view that where governments rely on intelligence information then, because that information can rarely be tested, there are very difficult problems for the courts because there is "little practical choice except to act upon the view proffered by the relevant agency". The result, he said, is that "to the extent that federal courts are left with no practical choice except to act upon a view proffered by the Executive, the appearance of institutional impartiality and the maintenance of public confidence in the courts are both damaged." The judgment attracted attention in Australia and internationally.
These same issues arise in the UK where procedures for dealing with national security in the courts have been the subject of great debate and legislation in the Justice and Security Act 2013. Justice Hayne's views on national security issues and the courts promise to be interesting and insightful.
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