Govt secret courts defeat

The government has suffered a series of defeats in the House of Lords on its secret courts legislation.

Live updates

Labour minister: 'Worst excesses' of secret courts plans have been watered down

Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan has said that the government's defeats on secret courts legislation means that "proper checks and balances are now being put in place."

He said:

Open and transparency of justice is a hugely important principle, and deviating from it should only be done in the most serious of circumstances with proper checks and balances in place.

The Government’s plans were too widely drawn with too few safeguards placing too much power in the hands of Government Ministers to decide what would be kept secret in court hearings.

These humiliating defeats for the Government mean proper checks and balances are now being put in place, with the worst excesses rightfully watered down.

– Sadiq Khan

CMPs are 'damaging to the integrity of judicial process'

The Lords may vote on whether to scrap former justice secretary Ken Clarke's plans altogether- but the Labour party have implied that now that the safeguards have been agreed they will not attempt to derail the legislation.

Lord Pannick, an independent peer, said:

CMPs are a radical departure from common law principles, which we would all respect and approve, that a party to a case has the right to see the evidence against him and has a chance to answer it.

This is a departure from the principle of transparent justice.

The second reason we should be very careful is that a CMP is inherently damaging to the integrity of the judicial process.

Judicial decisions are respected precisely because all the evidence is heard in open court subject to acceptance and judges give a reasoned judgment which explains their decision.

– Lord Pannick

Advertisement

Government suffers defeats on secret courts plans

The government has suffered a series of defeats in the House of Lords on its secret courts legislation.

Peers from across all political parties voted through a series of safeguards to the use of closed material proceedings (CMPs).

CMPs will prevent claimants in civil cases from hearing all the evidence in case of compromising national security.

Back to top