Secret courts votes ‘a dark night for British justice’

March 4, 2013

Commenting on votes on the Government plans for secret courts (set out in the Justice and Security Bill) in the House of Commons tonight, Reprieve’s Executive Director, Clare Algar said:

This has been a dark night for British justice. These plans for secret courts were always dangerous and unnecessary, but the failure of even minor attempts to modify the Bill means that it is even worse than when it first reached the House of Commons.

“MPs must now vote against the Bill altogether if they want to defend British justice. Should that fail, the House of Lords will be the only thing standing in the way of plans which would mean the end of the right to a fair trial in a vast range of civil cases.”The people who could be hit by these plans – which would allow the Government to exclude its opponents from the courtroom and deny them justice – range from victims of torture to British soldiers neglected by their own government.   “The Government has ripped out the Lords’ attempts at compromise in this Bill. The only safe way forward is to get rid of plans for secret courts altogether.”