íUnprecedentedí: Critics Assail Kafkaesque Secret Trial in UK
2014-06-06 0:00

By Sarah Lazare | CommonDreams

Blackout slammed as an íoutrageous assaultí on justice

For the first time in the UKís modern legal history, two men could face an entirely secret criminal trial for terrorism charges, their identities, the proceedings, and the verdict concealed from the public record.

First reported Wednesday, the blackout sparked alarm among human rights campaigners, lawyers, and politicians.

ďTo hold trials entirely in secret is an outrageous assault on the fundamental principles of British justice," Clare Algar, executive director of UK human rights organization Reprieve, told the Telegraph.

Until Wednesday, the media was banned from reporting the trial at all. After a challenge to the gag order by UK media organizations, including the Guardian and the Daily Mail, the press won the right to cover a Wednesday hearing challenging the gag order. The court will rule on the appeal to the media blackout in the coming days.

The case involves two men, identified as "AB" and "CD," who will face terrorism charges in a criminal court. The Crown Prosecution Service successfully pushed for the secrecy, which would ban any public report on the trialís proceedings and outcome, on the grounds that it is necessary for the protection of national security, with the specifics unknown to the public.

Yet, lawyers challenging the secrecy warn that the blackout constitutes a severe threat to civil liberties and justice. In modern history, no UK criminal trial has been this closed to the public, although partial gag orders have been imposed.

"The Crown has sought and obtained an unprecedented order that the trial of two defendants charged with serious terrorism offenses should take place entirely in private with the identity of both defendants withheld and a permanent prohibition on reporting what takes place during the trial and their identities," said Anthony Hudson, who is providing counsel to media organizations appealing the gag order, at Wednesdayís hearing, according to the BBC.

"This appeal raises important issues relating to not only the constitutional principle of open justice but the equally important principle of fairness and natural justice," he added.


Read the full article at: commondreams.org

READ: Shadow Justice: Secret UK courts break up families

Related Articles
Major terrorism trial could be held in secret for first time in UK legal history
Yukon man brought naked, shackled to court appearance
Egypt court sentences 528 to death
New Zealand Supreme Court Says DOJ Doesnít Have To Provide Evidence In Megaupload Extradition Case
FISA, the NSA, and Americaís Secret Court System
Classified íNo Fly Listí stops Americans from returning to America, Blocks Witnesses From Testifying in Court
In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.
TheGuardian attempts to justify UK secret courts

Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden to give over 8 million euros to Turkey for "refugee deal" - Europe to give three billion euros total
2015-12-01 1:44
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced on Sunday that Sweden would contribute to a joint action plan agreed by nine EU nations designed to limit the number of refugees arriving in Europe via Turkey. The deal came after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a surprise summit in Brussels involving the leaders of nine countries including Sweden, France and the UK. The European ...
Swedish woman raped by "refugee" refuses to report it because she feels sorry for him
2015-12-01 0:12
Victim sympathized with rapist's "difficult situation" A Swedish woman who was raped by an Iraqi ‚Äúrefugee‚ÄĚ on a train initially refused to report the incident to police because she ‚Äėfelt sorry‚Äô for her attacker. The incident occurred on a night train between Ume√• and Sundsvall back in October. The Iraqi refugee was traveling back to Sweden because he was unhappy with the ...
ISIS Oil Trade Full Frontal: "Raqqa's Rockefellers," Bilal Erdogan, KRG Crude, And The Israel Connection
2015-11-30 21:56
"Effectively, we have been financially discriminated against for a long time. By early 2014, when we did not receive the budget, we decided we need to start thinking about independent oil sales‚ÄĚ --  Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan‚Äôs minister for natural resources In June of 2014, the SCF Altai (an oil tanker) arrived at Ashkelon port. Hours later, the first shipment of Kurdish ...
Prosecutors ban Soros Foundation as 'threat to Russian national security'
2015-11-30 21:04
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has recognized George Soros’s Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects. In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia’s ...
Israeli Colonel Caught with Islamic State (IS) Pants Down
2015-11-30 21:11
This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was ‚Äúcaught with IS pants down.‚ÄĚ By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called IS‚Äďor Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preference‚Äďterrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence ...
More News »