Activists step up campaign against secret justice bill
Sunday 11 November 2012
Human rights groups will start the firing gun on their campaign against Government proposals to allow national security evidence to be heard behind closed court doors under the so-called "secret justice" bill.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Liberty and Reprieve will lobby against the Justice and Security Bill which is due to be debated in the House of Lords on November 19 and 21.
The reforms have been described as a "real threat" to the principles of fairness and open justice while potentially allowing the Government to "hide the truth" on national security grounds. They have raised fears that inquests into police shootings, soldiers killed by friendly fire and other hearings with the potential to cause embarrassment to authorities could be held in secret.
Amnesty International last month produced a highly-critical study on the proposals which included testimony from 25 barristers and solicitors who have acted in cases where evidence had been heard in secret.
"The Government wants a system where it can simply play the national security card whenever it wants," said Amnesty International's UK researcher Alice Wyss.
Due to take part at today's briefing at parliament on the bill are the widely-respected independent crossbench peer, Lord Pannick QC, Lord Beecham, the opposition spokesman on justice issues, Baroness Berridge the conservative peer, and Lord Strasburger, the Liberal Democrat peer.
Clare Algar, the executive director of Reprieve, said: "It is not too late for ministers to think again before taking a wrecking ball to the British tradition of fairness and equality before the law which is an example to the world."
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 4 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Syria conflict: President Assad finally turns on Isis as government steps up campaign against militant strongholds
Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
Ice Bucket Challenge: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Oprah – the most entertaining reactions so far
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
£65000 - £70000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy En...
£475 - £550 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Technical Accountant-Insuran...
£25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...