Secret courts bill under attack as House of Lords prepares for second reading – Isn’t this what we have in Ky. Attn. discipline hearings?

(This article invites comparison with Kentucky’s Secret Court Hearings in Attorney Discipline Cases – LawReader.)
Reforms go against principles of open and adversarial system of justice say campaigners, lawyers and MPs
Ken Clarke says secret hearings would preserve evidence gathered by intelligence agencies without releaseing it into the public domain. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA
Plans for secret hearings in civil courts being put before parliament on Tuesday “offend the principle of open justice”, a prominent Conservative MP has warned the government.
Andrew Tyrie, the member for Chichester who is chair of the all party group on rendition, has challenged ministers to abandon the proposals which he says are more in tune with a dictatorship than a democracy.
His comments to the Guardian are further evidence of widespread unease among senior lawyers and constitutional experts over the justice and security bill, which has its second reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday afternoon.
Last week, the Lords’ constitution committee, whose members include Lord Irvine, the former lord chancellor, and Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney general, described the expansion of secret hearings into civil courts as “flawed” and “unfair”.
….”It also offends the principle of open justice. However the government describes this, others will, with some justification, be able to describe this as ‘secret courts’. Secret courts and impunity for state officials involved in wrongdoing sound more like the tools of dictatorships than Britain.
…The civil rights organisation Liberty is planning a protest outside the supreme court to coincide with the second reading of the bill, deploying bouncers to emphasise that ordinary members of the public and claimants will be kept out of court by the new rules on secret hearings.
Liberty’s director, Shami Chakrabarti, said: “We will never shine a light on abuses of power by turning British courts into secret commissions locked away from victims, the press and public.
…The legal reform campaign, Justice, condemned the bill as “unfair, unnecessary and unjustified” and likely to “undermine public confidence in the administration of civil justice [as well as] damaging the credibility of our judiciary”.

Leave a Comment:

*