NEW RULES COMING INTO FORCE ON THE 6th APRIL 2022 (5): THE “PERSON” WHO MAY NOT BE NAMED…
A minor amendment is being made to CPR Part 39. The amendment enables any person not to be named if the court thinks this necessary. The rule is no longer confined to a party or witness.
Amendment of Part 39
The amendment reads:-
11. In rule 39.2(4), each time it appears, for “party or witness” substitute “person”.
THE CURRENT RULE
4) The court must order that the identity of any party or witness shall not be disclosed if, and only if, it considers non-disclosure necessary to secure the proper administration of justice and in order to protect the interests of that party or witness.
WHY THE CHANGE WAS INTRODUCED
In Brearley & Ors v Higgs & Sons (A Firm)  EWHC 1342 (Ch) Mrs Justice Falk considered whether someone identified in general terms could not be named, she observed: –
I note that there is no specific provision in the CPR that covers this situation. CPR 39.2(4) contemplates the anonymisation of a party or witness if it is necessary to secure the proper administration of justice, and to protect the interests of that party or witness. However, Mr A is neither a party nor a witness, and there is no proposal that he himself be made a witness.”
The new rule would allow someone who is neither a party or witness not to be identified. Provided, of course, that the court considers non-disclosure necessary to secure the proper administration of justice and to protect the interests of that person.