’Unprecedented’: Critics Assail Kafkaesque Secret Trial in UK
By Sarah Lazare | CommonDreams
Blackout slammed as an ’outrageous assault’ on justice
For the first time in the UK’s 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.
“To 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 trial’s 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 Wednesday’s 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
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 Doesn’t Have To Provide Evidence In Megaupload Extradition Case
FISA, the NSA, and America’s Secret Court System
Classified ’No Fly List’ 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
Pro-Israel bias: BBC admits editorial breach in interview with Israeli defense chief
The BBC has reached a â€śprovisional findingâ€ť to uphold complaints made by Palestinian activists that the broadcaster breached its editorial guidelines in a â€śsoftâ€ť interview with the Israeli defense minister.
Complaints focused on BBC journalist Sarah Montagueâ€™s alleged failure to challenge controversial claims made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaâ€™alon.
Journalist Amena Saleem, who works with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), wrote ...
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech"
1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation
Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person?
2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
FBI agents canâ€™t point to any major terrorism cases theyâ€™ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Departmentâ€™s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senateâ€™s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations.
A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
|More News » |