Journalists question ruling on secret trial

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The Independent Online
The Court of Appeal yesterday gave its ruling on a challenge by two journalists against a criminal trial which was held entirely in secret. But the judgment of the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Peter Taylor, was also given in secret.

It is now not known why such an unprecedented course in an English criminal trial was adopted, or whether the journalists were successful with their challenge.

At the start of the appeal Tim Crook and Caroline Godwin, who work at the Old Bailey, asked that their outline arguments of the principles involved be given in open court along with the judgment. The request was refused.

The two agreed to the confidentiality of the proceedings in order to be able to make oral submissions against a Crown Court's original decision.

Afterwards they said: 'We feel this whole episode brings the legal system into disrepute and far from encouraging public confidence, undermines it profoundly. It is a bizarre sequence of events and we do not believe the judges have properly considered the paramount importance of open justice.'

They are considering taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights.