Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Updates of Legal Affairs…

The Joint Committee on Human Rights a strong critic of Secret Trials finds support in the Deputy Prime Minister

April 4th, 2012

The joint Committee on Human Rights which is a strong critic of the government’s planned “Secret Trials” has found support in Nick Clegg the deputy Prime Minister.

Mr Clegg has hinted that he was not happy with the government’s plans of secret trials in certain civil cases in its entirety.

The Dy Prime Minister had written to the National Security Council that judges and not the ministers should be deciding what should be kept secret.

Mr Clegg has also said that he believes no inquests should be held in private as first reported in the Daily Mail.

BBC political correspondent Robin Brant said that the Lib Dem was asserting some authority over their coalition partners on the traditional issue of civil liberties.

The MPs and Peers on the Joint Committee on Human Rights said that the government had not given any proper reasons to justify why more cases were needed to be heard in secret.

They said that the inherently unfair plan was based on contaminated belief that the material would be made public.

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke who said proposals were “a common-sense solution to a genuine problem” but will be used in only a very few number of cases involving sensitive evidence from intelligence officers.

Under the plans, special advocates would be able to examine secret documents but would not be able to discuss them with defendants or claimants to get their side of the case.

In a highly critical report, the JCHR said the plans were a “radical departure from long-standing traditions of open justice”, and the government had failed to show there was “a real, practical problem at all” with the current system.

Ken Clarke welcomed the report and stated that it meant there was a compelling case for the changing of the current rules which stop judges from considering any sensitive intelligence evidence at all even when the whole case depended on it.

Human rights campaign groups said the JCHR’s report showed the proposals should be dropped altogether.

Labour said the government had to “properly justify these unprecedented changes to the British legal system”, and should reflect on the concerns raised by the JCHR.