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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Judge bans media from identifying teenager in deportation case

Written by The Press Association

A judge has banned journalists from reporting on a deportation case involving a teenager - despite it already receiving widespread press attention.

The youngster is currently fighting to remain in the UK and fears for their safety if deported.

The teen's legal representatives argued the public should be able to know the full details of the legal battle.

But even though the story has gained national and local coverage, an immigration tribunal judge in south Wales has now ruled the media should not be allowed to publish any details which may identify the youth.

That includes their name, age, country of birth, whereabouts in the UK they live and details about their family.

Judge Mr Nigel Osborne insisted the child's "long-term interests" outweighed any principles of open justice.

In making a ruling at Columbus House in Newport, south Wales, he said: "The appellant may have derived some support from the press, but I have to look at what I consider to be in their long-term interests.

"I am aware that you have already been identified. Although (you have been happy with this) to date, that may not be the case in the future."

Before making his decision, Mr Osborne had declined to hear submissions from several members of the press about the anonymity order because they were not "party to" legal proceedings.

He then made a court order under Rule 13 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Rules 2014.

It said: "Unless and until a tribunal or court directs otherwise, the appellant is granted anonymity due to their young age and vulnerability.

"Failure to comply with this direction could lead to contempt of court proceedings."

Proceedings have been adjourned until October 5 and a final judgment is not expected until later in the year.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2016, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Ben Birchall / PA Wire.