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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Prince Harry Wins Bid To Challenge Security Decisions

The Duke’s challenge concerns a February 2020 decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec).

By John Efosa

Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, has been granted permission to bring a High Court challenge against the Home Office over his security arrangements in the UK.

Prince Harry wants a review of the decision to not allow him to pay for police protection for himself and his family while visiting from the US.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back from royal duties in January 2020.

A February 2020 decision ruled they would not be afforded the “same degree” of protection while in the UK.

In a judgment on Friday, the High Court Judge, Justice Swift said the case could proceed, granting permission for part of Prince Harry’s claim to have a judicial review.

“The application for permission to apply for judicial review is allowed in part and refused in part,” Justice Swift said.

A judicial review is where a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body, such as the Home Office.

The Duke’s challenge concerns the February 2020 decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec), which falls under the Home Office’s management.

Ravec told the Duke he and his family would no longer be given the level of personal protection he received as a full-time working royal.

Prince Harry won the right to challenge the “lack of transparency” around Ravec’s decision-making and its policies, and whether its decision about the level of protection was reasonable.

Prince Harry’s legal team have argued the security arrangements set out in a letter from Ravec, and their application when he visited the UK in June 2021, were invalid due to “procedural unfairness”.

They said this was because he was not given an opportunity to make “informed representations beforehand”.

His team also said he had not been aware that a top aide to the Queen, with whom he faced “significant tensions”, had played a role in the decision to downgrade his security.

Shaeed Fatima QC, for the duke, told the court earlier this month: “He didn’t know at that stage that the Royal Household was involved at all… he was told it was an independent decision.”

However, lawyers for the Home Office say Ravec was entitled to reach the decision it did, which is that Prince Harry’s security arrangements will be considered on a “case by case” basis, and argue that permission for a full judicial review should be refused.

Prince Harry and the Home Office will submit further information to the court ahead of any application for judicial review. — BBC.



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