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statewatch monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe Volume 22 no 2/3 UK: Government’s “secret justice ” Bill widely condemned

By Max Rowlands


The Justice and Security Bill will allow ministers to force civil courts to hear evidence in secret if they believe it to be in the interest of national security. Verdicts will be reached on the basis of evidence that litigants and their lawyers have neither heard nor been given the opportunity to rebut. Liberal Democrat delegates voted heavily against the government’s Justice and Security Bill at their party conference in September 2012. By doing so they became the latest source of criticism of legislation that has been widely condemned across the political spectrum. The Bill plans to extend the use of closed material proceedings (CMP) – which allow the government to present evidence to a court in secret in the interest of national security – to all civil trials. CMP are currently allowed in only a very small number of cases and have been much criticised for undermining the rule of law and the right to a fair trial. The government claims that their extension would allow civil courts to hear evidence that is currently excluded, increasing procedura

Year: 2013
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