My name is among the signatories of this open letter written in protest at the measures proposed in the Justice and Security Bill, which has reached its report stage and third reading in the House of Commons. For more background on this bill see the University of Reading’s Law, Terrorism and the Right to Know project; and the UK Human Rights Blog.
A charter for cover ups
We are deeply concerned by the Justice and Security Bill.
It was drafted in response to legal cases involving allegations of UK complicity in secret rendition, torture and inhumane treatment.
The Bill is a charter for cover ups.
Neither the public, nor the victims, nor their lawyers nor the media will have a right to know.
Court records could be kept secret forever. Secret courts could be extended to undercover police officers, deaths of suspects in custody and deaths in the military.
The measures in the Bill are an attack on open and accessible justice, they threaten the right to a fair trial and the rule of law.
Journalism at its best uncovers the truth and the Bill intends to hide the evidence.
We are asking MPs to make their vote count and oppose the secret courts proposals in the Justice and Security Bill next week.