Clarke’s concessions on secret courts will not satisfy Liberal Democrat campaigners

Ken ClarkeIsabel Hardman has written a piece on the Spectator’s Coffee House blog which essentially says that Liberal Democrat MPs and campaigners are on a bit of a collision course over Part II of the Justice and Security Bill. Liberal Democrat conference voted overwhelmingly in favour of this measure being withdrawn because of its provisions on secret courts.

The article suggests that Liberal Democrat MPs are likely to support the measures now that Ken Clarke has accepted an amendment from the House of Lords guaranteeing judges, not ministers would authorise secret courts. Liberal Democrat Voice’s Nick Thornsby explains why this is not acceptable opponents of this measure within the Party.

It is of course welcome that Ken Clarke has recognised some of the flaws contained in the original bill. But even the amendments made in the House of Lords don’t go far enough. The bill, establishing the principle of court cases where one side can’t hear the evidence from the other, is fundamentally illiberal. It is difficult to see how Part II can remain intact and be acceptable to Liberal Democrats.

Hardman suggests that “this could be as big a problem for the party as the Health and Social Care Bill was”. I think she’s under-estimating the situation. The NHS debate did split the party along social and economic liberal lines. That is not the case with this measure. There is nothing like civil liberties being threatened to unite people across the party. It is unlikely, in any debate that may take place in the future, that you’d see the result turn on tens of votes.

You can read the whole article here.

If you wish to take part in the Liberal Democrat campaign against secret courts, you can do so here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , , , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

One Comment

  • Just to observe that the lack of any comments on this item is a possible indicator that the concessions that Ken Clarke is minded to make in the light of the Lords’ amendments to this Bill may have taken some of the steam out of Lib Dem opposition to it.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Payne 3rd Dec - 4:55pm
    Michael BG, Thanks for your response. My understanding of LVT is slightly different. I suspect, though I can't know, that Conall Boyle used site values...
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 3rd Dec - 4:44pm
    Lorenzo - sounds like you need a free transfer to my local party and I need a free transfer to yours! x
  • User AvatarTynan 3rd Dec - 4:33pm
    Well, congratulations Lib Dems, good luck to the new MP. Love democracy.
  • User AvatarTynan 3rd Dec - 4:16pm
    'He also said that Brexiteers are rubbing voters up the wrong way by dismissing their concerns and right to be heard.' So now they know...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 3rd Dec - 4:11pm
    "How, they wonder, do we manage to recruit 1000 people in one weekend, from all over the country?" I always struggle to reconcile Lib Dem...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 3rd Dec - 4:02pm
    I really like this piece because Jon Taylor’s solution is not to put more money into the NHS and his ideas need careful consideration. They...