’Unprecedented’: Critics Assail Kafkaesque Secret Trial in UK
2014 06 06

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



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 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

6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered
2014 10 21
A 6,000-year-old temple holding humanlike figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered within a massive prehistoric settlement in Ukraine. Built before writing was invented, the temple is about 60 by 20 meters (197 by 66 feet) in size. It was a "two-story building made of wood and clay surrounded by a galleried courtyard," the upper floor divided into five ...
What happened to Journalist Serena Shim? Assassinated? Find out what happened to Serena, Press TV director calls on Turkey
2014 10 21
Press TV news director Hamid Reza Emadi says the “suspicious death,” of the news channel’s correspondent in Turkey is a tragedy for “anyone who wants to get the truth.” Emadi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday following Serena Shim’s death across the border from Syria’s Kurdish city of Kobani, where the ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters ...
Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for Information Storage
2014 10 21
The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice that changes colour depending on the direction of the light upon it. It baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s, as they could not work ...
Rapid Geomagnetic Reversal Possibility: Confirmed
2014 10 21
From the video: "The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is the Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia." Tune into Red Ice Radio: Ben Davidson - Suspicious0bservers: Space Weather ...
Georgia Guide Stone 2014 cube stone removal
2014 10 21
From: Youtube: Was it all just a gag? it seems the cube stone just happens to be made out of the same Elberton granite that the rest of this morbid monument is made from.
More News »