Response to David Anderson’s comments on the secret justice green paper

March 21, 2012

Responding to the claims by the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson, that the Government’s Justice and Security green paper “accurately summarises…the limited reduction already seen in the flow of intelligence information from some US sources,” which he made following a briefing by MI5 and the Government, Reprieve’s Executive Director, Clare Algar said:

“Once again, we are being asked to believe MI5’s version of what the US supposedly thinks, filtered through anonymous briefings. Having failed to win the public argument the security services have retreated to the secret lunch. This is not an acceptable basis on which to simply junk our centuries-old tradition of open justice.

“It is staggering that the Government is proposing to make seismic changes to our justice system on the grounds that this is what the US wants – yet neither the minister responsible, Ken Clarke, nor the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism, have been allowed to talk directly to the American authorities to find out what they actually think.

“This is particularly alarming given that, in recent reports, current and former US officials have directly contradicted the UK Government’s claim that these changes are necessary to repair the intelligence relationship between the two countries – and have stated that it in fact remains as strong as ever.”