It was a highly dramatic and tension filled day at the high Court on Wednesday. Yvonne Pattison and I attended the disclosure hearing along with our legal team, while the National Executive Committee met a few miles away with Chris Winters in charge all waiting anxiously for breaking news.
You will by now have seen the update that we published yesterday and all of your Officers and Officials share your frustration that we cannot be as fulsome with our reporting as we would all wish, due to the complex legal restrictions that we and the defendants are bound by.
It's now in the public arena that the adjudication on disclosure went in our favour on our requests for some key documentation on Transforming Rehabilitation that we have been seeking sight of in order to better inform our case . Mr Justice Irwin was clearly more impressed by the submissions on behalf of Napo from Helen Mountfield QC aided by Chris Buttler, than he was by the defendants claims that our disclosure submission should be struck out in its entirety as (in their view) it was not in the public interest, and because it was (again in their view) entirely politically motivated.
This latest setback for the Secretary of State (which we gather he is not taking too well) could have been avoided a long time ago of course. It would have been altogether easier for all parties had the Government adopted a more reasonable approach to the issue of what ought to be transparent when a reform of such major importance is being pushed through at such speed.
I accept that this can only give you all a mere flavour of the exchanges that have taken place so far in and out of the Court. Nevertheless, I hope it demonstrates why Napo has been so determined to secure what we need to allow those who will decide the outcome of the JR application every opportunity to do so with the full details in front of them.
A good day then for Napo members, and indeed a good week; but still some tough ones await us and will include masses of hard work and lots of long hours as we pore over the disclosures that we expect to arrive by close of play, and those that will follow next week.
It's not often I am short of a word or two but as I close this posting I cannot adequately describe how proud I am to stand shoulder to shoulder with you all in this huge struggle. Your support, including the fantastic messages of encouragement we are regularly receiving, is giving us all the strength to see this through.