UK GOVERNMENT WANTS SECRET COURT BUT LAWYERS SAY NO – Over 700 members of the legal profession, including Judges and QC’s, have launched an attack on David Cameron and his Government over the proposed Justice and Security Bill, saying it is dangerous and contrary to law.
One of the key aspects of British Law is that justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done, which is why our courts have a public gallery. The idea is that anyone can sit in and see that justice is being executed in accordance with the law.
The proposed Justice and Security Bill is designed so that more court cases can be held behind closed doors which in turn, as our Judges and QC’s rightly point out, will lead to unfair trials and abuse.
The Bill, expected to be presented to Parliament again next month, is certainly a controversial one and one that many believe will infringe upon civil rights. The question that appears not being asked is; ‘What does the Government want to hide, by enacting such a bill?’
This Bill has not just raised eyebrows among the legal profession but also international organizations including American Civil Liberties Union and other similar organization from other countries, such as Canada.
Considering the backlash that this Bill is receiving it would be unlikely that the House of Lords would approve it and this is a good thing.
If you enter a court of law, as a defendant or plaintiff then you should expect a fair hearing, and unfortunately if this Bill is passed, it could spell the end of fair justice in the United Kingdom.
So why is the Government seeking to impose such legislation? The Government insists that the Justice and Security Law would only be used in cases of National Security and claims that other nations may stop sharing intelligence with the British if an open court system discloses sensitive information.
The issue with this is who will determine if it is a National Security issue? If left to the Government, it could pretty much whitewash anything it likes into being a National Security issue.
Prominent Judges and QC’s have also pointed out that such a Bill could be used to cover up Government crimes such as rendition and torture.
The UK, as it stands right now, is supposed to be a democracy with an open and fair system of Justice. While the system does not always work favourably, which is often seen when the Home Office is trying to deport foreign criminals, it is as least open to the public view, which in turn allows for open debate, something that is the pillar of democracy.
It just appears to me that David Cameron and his ministers would like to gag us all and feed us only the information they deem fit. We’ve already had proposals to silence the press and now this Bill wants to ensure that the Government is able to have full control of the Justice System.
The UK is moving in a dangerous direction and while David Cameron openly admonishes North Korea it looks suspiciously like he wouldn’t mind the same type of control its leaders have over their citizens.