Welcome to Cutting Edge. Guests can see and read the contents of most of the boards on this forum but need to become members to read all of them. Currently membership is instant, but new accounts may be deleted if not activated within fourteen days.

If you decide to join the forum, please open your welcome message for further details. New members are requested to introduce themselves on the appropriate thread on our welcome board.

Members may post messages and start threads, but it is essential that they read our posting rules and advice before doing so. If you have any immediate questions or queries, please post them on the suggestions board.

After posting at least ten messages, members are able to contact each other and the staff through our personal messaging system.

This forum is administrated by Ivan and moonbeam and moderated by boatlady and astradt1.

Thank you for visiting Cutting Edge.

Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by Ivan on Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:46 pm

"Transparency isn't an optional luxury in the justice system – it's key to ensuring fairness and protecting the rule of law."
 
So said Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty, a sentiment echoed by the shadow justice secretaty Sadiq Khan: “While there will always be exceptional circumstances in which parts of cases may need to be held in secret, open justice isn't some optional add-on - transparency and openness are absolutely critical to the way our courts run."
 
When a government takes more power, it usually justifies it as being for our own good, to protect our security. We are told that the new powers will only be used in exceptional circumstances, with firm promises that they won’t be abused. History suggests otherwise. Did anyone expect the Public Order Act of 1986 to be used against groups ranging from gay rights activists to Christian street preachers? Should the Protection from Harassment Act of 1997 have been used against activists protesting outside US intelligence bases? Most notoriously of all, was the Terrorism Act really appropriate when dealing with an octogenarian heckler who was erroneously ejected from a Labour conference by overzealous security guards?
 
Now the Justice and Security Act of 2013 allows for secret courts. Instead of judges, ministers will be given powers over evidence in court, risking the principle of a fair trial. Liberty has suggested it could be used to keep "dirty state secrets" away from victims and the public, and 700 legal experts signed a letter condemning it as "dangerous and unnecessary". We should all be concerned about this development. I could imagine paedophiles with links to former cabinet ministers, and even royalty, being tried in secret in case they spill the beans on their powerful associates. In the worst case scenario, secret trials could be a good way of helping those considered by the government to be undesirable to go missing permanently.
 
The 2013 Act also allow for parts of civil cases to be heard in secret if they involve matters of national security, such as compensation claims from terror suspects. Writing for ‘The Telegraph’, Tom Whitehead, and David Barrett report that “the move has fuelled concerns over the growth of secret justice in British courts, which has already spread to civil cases and celebrity privacy challenges. A major criminal case being heard entirely behind closed doors risks ripping up the very tradition of open justice in the UK, which dates back to the Magna Carta of 1215.”
 
We now know that a secret trial of two men suspected of terrorism is about to take place. Journalists have up until now even been banned from reporting the fact that a trial was to be heard in secret. Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said: “For a parliamentary democracy with our reputation for a fair legal system, this sets a very dangerous precedent. For an entire trial to be heard in camera, this is unprecedented, very serious and worrying.”
 
The journalist Owen Jones writes:-
 
A basic principle that democrats of all hues should surely champion is that justice is done, and is seen to be done…..Once a centuries-old tradition of justice broken, it will be much easier to hold trials in total secrecy in future. Many of the freedoms and liberties we have today were won at huge cost and sacrifice by our ancestors. If we allow them to be discarded without a fight, then what is to stop the powerful coming for other rights? This is how freedom is eroded, when we accept the comforting rationale of a state that will quite happily amass power at the expense of individual liberties until it is prevented from doing so.

If the state wishes to provide terrorists with ready-made propaganda, then flaunting its attacks on civil liberties is one way of going about it. Our governments have served as highly effective recruiting officers for terrorism in other ways, too – whether it be backing the Afghan Mujahideen in the 1980s, backing various hellish regimes such as the witch-beheading gangsters running Saudi Arabia, or the invasion of Iraq which handed vast swathes of the country to al-Qaeda
.”
 
Michael Gove is keen to talk about 'British values'; whether anyone can agree on what they are is doubtful, but that’s another argument. The issue here is whether national security can be pursued without regard of the values of the society which it is claiming to protect.
 
Sources used:-
 
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/05/britain-first-secret-trial-rights
 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10876499/Secret-terror-trial-is-assault-on-British-justice.html
 
http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/jun/04/major-terrorism-trial-secret-first-time-legal-history
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7044
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:33 pm

Once again something that would have been difficult to introduce if Britain had a written Constitution.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11750
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by stuart torr on Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:59 pm

I do believe that secret trials have been going on since time immemorial.
Certainly since more than 500 years ago, and the poorer people have always been too scared to do anything about it.
avatar
stuart torr
Deceased

Posts : 3187
Join date : 2013-10-10
Age : 57
Location : Nottingham. England. UK.

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:50 pm

The present government has recently enacted "Anti-Terrorist" laws which could be used against any citizen. Any person can denounce any other to the authorities. In this pre-election period, you might like to complain to your MP about that.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17576745

https://www.gov.uk/terrorism-national-emergency/reporting-suspected-terrorism

avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11750
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by stuart torr on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am

That is so disgusting oftenwrong, I've suspected now and again that with the odd letter that it might have been opened and resealed.
I do believe that they are doing this already.
avatar
stuart torr
Deceased

Posts : 3187
Join date : 2013-10-10
Age : 57
Location : Nottingham. England. UK.

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:09 pm

George Orwell's novel "1984" was of course fiction. Probably.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11750
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by stuart torr on Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:13 pm

Most of that novel is already truth, do you not think oftenwrong?
avatar
stuart torr
Deceased

Posts : 3187
Join date : 2013-10-10
Age : 57
Location : Nottingham. England. UK.

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by Ivan on Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:22 pm

And this powerful novel, first published 100 years ago, will soon resemble the truth once more if the Tories get their way and make us totally dependent on the whims of employers:-

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk/t797-the-ragged-trousered-philanthropists-by-robert-tressell
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7044
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by stuart torr on Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:46 pm

I remember being a shop steward when thatcher was at her height, and we were out on strike then against her and her policies, but alas we lost and now the unions have lost all the power they ever had before her.
avatar
stuart torr
Deceased

Posts : 3187
Join date : 2013-10-10
Age : 57
Location : Nottingham. England. UK.

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by stuart torr on Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:46 pm

Ok oftenwrong and Ivan, pure coincidence maybe?
Since I posted on here regarding my shop stewardship, computer went off, took until now for it to sort out the so called faults and repair them?
Enough time to check all my records I should think too eh?
avatar
stuart torr
Deceased

Posts : 3187
Join date : 2013-10-10
Age : 57
Location : Nottingham. England. UK.

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:13 pm

I always assume that my phone calls are intercepted and my e-mails subject to perusal. The open nature of the internet means that only the very trusting or the very stupid would commit potentially incriminating material to the ether.

I harbour no fears about eavesdropping on my shopping list, and it is not yet an offence to disagree with politicians.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11750
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by boatlady on Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:22 pm

I always assume that my phone calls are intercepted and my e-mails subject to perusal.

Do you?
I always assume anything I say is so boring no-one would be interested
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3712
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by stuart torr on Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:10 am

We must warn you that all calls are recorded to help us improve our service?
Never be so trusting boatlady.
avatar
stuart torr
Deceased

Posts : 3187
Join date : 2013-10-10
Age : 57
Location : Nottingham. England. UK.

Back to top Go down

Re: Is there any place for secret trials in a so-called democracy?

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum