Information Leaflet 11: Applications raising matters relating to National Security
The request for a direction comprises the written representation of the person making the request (Rule 7 (1)). Under Rule 5 (2) the SoS will acknowledge receipt of the request and publicise it by giving notice by local advertisement. If appropriate, notice will be served upon the owner or occupier of the land to which the request for a direction relates. The notice will advise that a request for a direction has been made, that written representations on whether a direction should be given can be made to the SoS at the address specified and provide a date by which such representations should be made. This date will be not less than 2 weeks from the date of the notice.
As soon as practicable after notice of the request for the direction has been given, the SoS under Rule 6 (1) will notify the appointed representative of the date by which he is to receive any written representations (a date not less than 6 weeks from the appointed representative being notified). At the same time, the SoS will copy the notice sent to the appointed representative to the other party (that is, the person requesting the direction).
When the SoS receives notice from the appointed representative that he has taken instructions from the affected person, he will send to the appointed representative a copy of the request for a direction together with, where the potentially closed evidence includes documentary evidence or a proof of evidence of a person who intends to give oral evidence, a copy of the evidence (Rule 6(2)).
As soon as practicable after receipt, the SoS under Rule 7 (2), will send a copy of written representations received from the Appointed Representative, if any, to the other party and will copy to the parties any written representations received in response to the notice that a request for a direction has been made. Any further representations received by the SoS from either party will be sent to the other party as soon as practicable under Rule 7 (3)).
The SoS may proceed to a decision on a request for a direction taking into account only those representations that were submitted by the relevant date. The relevant date is the date specified in the notice issued by the SoS under Rule 5 (2) or 6 (1) or a later date specified by him (Rule 10).
However, if there is one or more matters which the Secretary of State considers could best be dealt with by holding a hearing he will notify the parties in writing. Any date fixed by the Secretary of State for a hearing must be no later than 6 weeks after the date of the notification of the hearing. A minimum of 2 weeks written notice of the date, time and place fixed for the holding of the hearing should be given to the parties unless a lesser period is agreed. The Secretary of State may vary the date; time and place fixed for a hearing but must give the parties reasonable notice (Rule 8).
The procedure at the hearing is determined by the SoS. A hearing will take the form of a discussion led by the SoS and cross-examination will be permitted if he considers this necessary to ensure a through examination of the main issues. At the start of a hearing the SoS will identify what he believes the main issues to be considered are and will identify any matters on which he requires further explanation from the parties. This does not preclude any party from referring to issues which they consider relevant to consideration of the request for a direction but which were not identified by the SoS. When a hearing is being held, the Secretary of State may proceed with the hearing in the absence of any party, take into account any written representations or evidence received before the hearing opens or during the hearing provided it has been disclosed to the parties at the hearing and may
adjourn the hearing giving notice at the hearing of the date, time and place of the adjourned hearing, in which case no further notice will be required. Any written representation, evidence or other document received after the end of the hearing may be disregarded by the Secretary of State when making his determination (Rule 9).
The Secretary of State may at any time vary time restrictions imposed by the rules.
The rules provide for the use of electronic communications (see definition in Rule 2 and provisions in Rule 12).
The Secretary of State will notify his decision to any person who made representations to him in relation to the direction as soon as practicable after determining whether or not to make the direction. He is not required to give reasons for his decision where doing so would result in the public disclosure of closed evidence.
Where a direction is given, the Secretary of State shall send a copy of the direction to the appointed representative and to the person who requested the direction.