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 Liberal Democrat conference voted overwhelmingly in favour of this measure being withdrawn because of its provisions on secret courts.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 AvatarTim 31st Jul - 12:32am
    Supluses and deficits do have to sum to zero No, they don't. Comparative advantage.
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 30th Jul - 9:05pm
    Without shares a lot of money wouldn't simply "go into the real economy" but into vaults instead and global growth wouldn't be any high. In...
  • User AvatarRoland 30th Jul - 9:02pm
    We must be honest here, when it comes to the EU, it is clearly a vehicle for German economic dominance, Disagree, the potential for Germany...
  • User AvatarChris Key 30th Jul - 7:59pm
    Martin Land I am sure there are many others like your son. I wish him well.
  • User AvatarSteve Treveth 30th Jul - 7:38pm
    When returns on financial activities are higher than those from "real life" goods and services then money will be moved to the "finance economy" from...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 30th Jul - 6:13pm
    ISBN 0 09 179527 3 page 304. Emily Bowen was mayor of Mitchellville. Primary runoff 196-8. called to say thanks. Received apology for the eight....