by India Thorogood Feb 18th, 2013
Is this the end of the principle that no one is above the law? The government are currently pushing drastic changes to our justice system through parliament, which would allow trials to take place in secret. If they’re successful, it could mean serious abuses like torture, or detention without trial, never come to light. This would make government cover ups much easier, and make it much harder to get a truly fair trial.
Your MP could be voting on secret courts as early as the 25th February. And it looks like the vote could be very close. There’s already been a massive rebellion in the House of Lords, key Liberal Democrats, Labour and top Conservatives have all spoken out against the government’s plans. With some pressure from us, their voters, we might just persuade enough MPs to stop this attack on British justice.
Time is running out to stop these changes. Click here to email your MP to stand up for justice and vote against secret courts now.
Of course, the state has an interest in keeping the cases against it quiet. From Iraqi torture claims against the Ministry of Defence to the long-running cover-up of the Hillsborough disaster, and from the silence over the Jimmy Savile abuse allegations to phone-hacking at News International, it’s clear that when things aren’t out in the open abuse is more likely.
But the government’s proposals are more than simply a way to dodge responsibility. Our British legal system isn’t flawless – but these new measures are an attack on its founding principles. Secret courts have no place in a truly just legal system. Email your MP now to make sure they vote the right way.
Isabella Sankey, Director of Policy at Liberty, said: “This Bill would overturn 400 proud years of open justice and equality before the law in Britain and allow for grave state errors and abuses to be covered up for good.
“Opposition to secret courts is growing and MPs will soon vote on the plans – now is the time to apply real pressure and 38 Degrees members can make all the difference by coming together and taking action.”