Prince Harry’s court battle with the British government is getting more complicated by the day. The prince’s attorney has received a scolding from the presiding judge after confidential court documents were leaked.
Harry’s Case Against The British Government
Harry is currently suing the British government after they stopped providing police protection for him and his family while they are in the UK. Their reasoning? As Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are no longer working royals, they are not entitled to tax-payer-funded protection. Harry maintains that the threat level against his family is high and they need a security detail that has jurisdiction in the UK, as well as access to British security information.
The lawsuit is controversial, and it looks like Harry’s lawyer is not making things any easier. His attorney, Shaheed Fatima, shared an embargoed version of a judgment—meant only for the lawyers involved in the case—with former British Army Major General Tim Robinson.
Robinson is a partner at Schillings, the law firm the prince has hired to represent him, but he is not a lawyer and should not have been given a copy of the draft judgment. The presiding judge, Jonathan Swift, was quoted in the Evening Standard, saying, “It seems to me there was a breach of the embargo, the draft judgment should not have been provided to Mr Robinson.”
The Presiding Judge Demanded An Apology From Harry’s Attorney
Fatima and Harry’s team claim there was no breach, but Judge Swift disagreed: “Let me disabuse you of that notion—there has been a breach.” He also slammed Fatima for her reaction to the breach, saying, “It is also unacceptable you have come here without an apology.”
Fatima did say that she took full responsibility for the leak of the documents, telling Swift, “With the benefit of hindsight, I should have thought more fully—before the emails were sent—about Mr Robinson’s status, and with the benefit of hindsight I should have, out of an abundance of caution, contacted the court.”
Swift responded, “It’s not for me to require you to apologize. It should be a matter for you as a matter of professional conscience. If you chose not to, there is nothing I propose to do about it.” Fatima then offered an apology, saying, “I am very sorry for the fact I didn’t think fully before the emails were sent and I didn’t contact the court sooner.”
Big Decisions Made About The Lawsuit
Court proceedings then moved on to deciding what information should be made public in the security lawsuit. The court ruled that portions of Harry’s suit against the U.K. Home Office would remain confidential in order to protect members of the royal family and others who receive police protection.
Harry’s lawsuit against the British government is still ongoing, but with information leaks like this and the amount of public interest in the case, it might take a while for this case to be settled.