Clarke Rocked by Backlash over Secret Court Hearings

Daily Mail (London), March 7, 2012 | Go to article overview

Clarke Rocked by Backlash over Secret Court Hearings


Byline: James Chapman Political Editor

KENNETH Clarke yesterday admitted he was 'most unsettled' by criticism of plans to extend secret court hearings but conceded some reforms were necessary to 'satisfy the Americans'.

The Justice Secretary - facing a grilling from sceptical MPs and peers - accepted draft legislation would have to be amended to narrow the broad range of cases that ministers could order to be held behind closed doors.

But he insisted that in the most sensitive cases of national security, it was vital to change the law to reassure Washington that sensitive intelligence they shared with Britain would not be publicly disclosed.

In the case of Binyam Mohamed, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who sought to sue the Government for complicity in torture, ministers tried to conceal U.S. documents disclosing his alleged torture - but were overruled by the courts. Mr Clarke said: 'In an ideal world we would want every case to be conducted in a perfectly open way.

'[But] I would like to satisfy the Americans that if they give us material in confidence that we will not break that confidence.' The coalition has been accused of violating the most basic principles of justice by proposing to extend secret hearings to all civil proceedings and inquests.

The Daily Mail has revealed growing cross-party concern, shared even by the vast majority of special advocates, the security-cleared lawyers who would be expected to administer the new system.

Mr Clarke, appearing before the joint committee on human rights yesterday, said he was 'most unsettled' by the reaction of special advocates, admitting he was 'very startled by their strong reaction'.

The group, which includes 19 QCs, says the Government's plans 'represent a departure from the foundational principle of natural justice' and 'undermine the principle that public justice should be dispensed in public'.

The Justice Secretary suggested the Government now intended to narrow the circumstances in which ministers can decree cases might 'damage the public interest' if held in public, and strengthen judicial oversight.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Clarke Rocked by Backlash over Secret Court Hearings
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.