Robert Palmer KC successful in Prince Harry security judicial review

28 Feb 2024
Robert Palmer KC

The High Court has dismissed Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex’s, claim for judicial review challenging the decision of RAVEC that he should no longer be given the same degree of publicly funded protective security, provided by the police, when in Great Britain, following his decision in early 2020 to step back from his role as a working member of the Royal Family. RAVEC is the body given responsibility by the Home Secretary for decision-making in relation to matters of protective security in Great Britain.

The Duke of Sussex advanced a significant number of challenges to the decision-making of RAVEC, alleging: failures to follow their own policies; inconsistent treatment with others; irrationality given, amongst other matters, his status from birth as a senior member of the Royal Family; and procedural unfairness in the way in which the decision was reached and information which was not provided to him at the time. The judgment of Lane J dismisses all of the grounds of challenge, both to the decision taken in 2020 and all of the challenges in relation to its application to subsequent visits of the Duke to Great Britain.

Significant parts of the hearing before Lane J were necessarily held in private to ensure that details of the security arrangements of the Duke, and of third parties, were not placed in the public domain. The High Court’s public judgment is similarly heavily redacted on the same basis. That public judgment – R (Duke of Sussex) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2024] EWHC 418 (Admin) – is available here.

Today’s decision is being widely reported, including on the BBC.

This was the second judgment dismissing a judicial review complaint that Prince Harry brought over his security arrangements. In May 2023, Robert also successfully defended a challenge brought by the Duke against RAVEC’s decision to reject in principle any ability to privately fund police protection. The decision concluded that it would be inappropriate to support or authorise the wealthy to ‘buy’ protective security services provided by specialist officers of the Metropolitan Police. The judgment in that case is available here.

Robert Palmer KC acted for the Secretary of State for the Home Department.