Prince Harry criticised by judge over 'irrelevant' claims in Sussex legal battle


Providing a ruling following two preliminary hearing held last month, High Court judge Mr Justice Swift said that evidence filed in support of the duke’s claim included “irrelevant evidence”. This, he continued, was “inadmissible and should be excluded from the proceedings”.

The judge said he rejected submissions from the Duke of Sussex that the reasons for this conclusion should be in the public part of his judgment.

Mr Justice Swift said this would “defeat the purpose of the exercise while serving no public interest”.

He said: “Legal proceedings do not exist for the purpose of permitting parties to put irrelevant matters in the public domain, and the court must be astute to ensure that proceedings, legitimately pursued, do not become the occasion to publicise irrelevant material”.

The judge also criticised the legal team of Prince Harry on Thursday for breaking the embargo of the judgement handed out following two preliminary hearing held last month.

The judge said the copy of Thursday’s ruling had been emailed to someone who was not a lawyer by someone in the Duke of Sussex’s legal team.

He called this move “entirely unacceptable”.

The judge continued: “It should have been obvious that what happened was a breach.

“At the very least, it should have been obvious that it needed to be reported to the judge, me, at as soon as possible.”

He later said: “It is also unacceptable that you come without an apology to the court.”

Shaheed Fatima QC, representing Harry, apologised and said she took full responsibility for the episode.

High Court judgments are typically provided to lawyers in the case in draft ahead of being made public under embargo.



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