The Duke of Sussex 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. This came as a result of a February 2020 decision which ruled that they would not be afforded the “same degree” of protection while in the UK.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back from royal duties in January 2020. In a judgment on Friday, July 22, 2022, the High Court judge said the case could proceed, granting permission for part of Prince Harry’s claim to have a judicial review.
Mr. Justice Swift, a British High Court judge said “The application for permission to apply for judicial review is allowed in part and refused in part”. 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.
Concerns of the Duke
The duke’s challenge concerned 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 that 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 is reasonable.
Prince Harry’s legal team argued that the security arrangements set out in a letter from Ravec, and the application when he visited the UK in June 2021, were invalid due to “procedural unfairness”. According to the legal team, this is because Prince Harry was not given an opportunity to make “informed representations beforehand”.
His team also said he was not made aware that a top aide to the Queen, with whom he faced “significant tensions”, played a role in the decision to downgrade his security. Shaeed Fatima QC (a barrister) for the duke, told the Court earlier this month (July 2022) that “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 disclosed that Ravec is 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 argued 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.