LONDON Ã¢â¬â A U.K. judge allowed a coalition of age verification companies and pro-regulation nonprofits on Thursday to move forward with their legal battle to compel the government to introduce a mandatory age verification system for adult content.
After a High Court hearing over Skype, recently appointed High Court Family Division judge Mrs Justice Nathalie Lieven ruled, Ã¢â¬ÅI express no views beyond arguablility on the merits of the case,Ã¢â¬Â which paves the way for the plaintiffs to move forward and ask the government for the paperwork that resulted in the decision last October to backtrack with plans to implement the age verification system.
The four age verification companies that brought the case were AgeChecked, AVSecure, AVYourself and VeriMe, supported by NSPCC, BarnardoÃ¢â¬â¢s, the ChildrenÃ¢â¬â¢s Society and other pro-regulation nonprofits referred to in the media as Ã¢â¬ÅchildrenÃ¢â¬â¢s charities.Ã¢â¬Â
According to a Telemedia report, Ã¢â¬Åthe hearing, which took place over Skype, began at noon and was originally scheduled to last for one hour, but in the end, complex constitutional arguments ran until past 4 p.m., as Alan Payne QC, representing the campaigners, faced the governmentÃ¢â¬â¢s most senior barrister, Sir James Eadie QC.Ã¢â¬Â
Judge LievenÃ¢â¬â¢s ruling, Telemedia reports, Ã¢â¬Åpaves the way for a full hearing on the substantive arguments. Crucially, Number 10 and DCMS are now obliged to disclose all the relevant internal paper, correspondence and even WhatsApp messages leading up to the announcement last October, which came at the time the Government was desperately trying to call a general election.Ã¢â¬Â