Tag Archives: secret courts

Letter to Nick Clegg – Secret courts and bedroom tax

Dear Nick,
Following the vote in Parliament last night the Prime Minister demonstrated how to graciously step back from a position and accept the will of our democratically elected representatives that Britain should not engage in the folly of military intervention in Syria.To step back, accept that you have lost the vote, and so quickly return to the task that parliament has set is not in my view a sign of weakness, it is a clear sign of strength and dignity that will serve the Prime Minister well.

At our Spring conference this year you faced two major votes where you disagreed

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Opinion: Secret courts and the detention of David Miranda

For a number of years where it was felt that taking a case into court may result in information being divulged that could harm national security successive British Governments have settled out of court.
 
This Coalition Government decided that this approach was too costly and so resolved to introduce closed material procedures, or secret courts, for civil cases brought by citizens against the intelligence services.
In these secret courts the citizen will lay their case before a Judge, who will then sit in private with the intelligence services present but the Citizen not, and consider evidence that may never have been seen

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

Secret Courts now a reality after Lords amendments fall – how did Liberal Democrats vote?

As the sky fell in on open justice, according to Labour whip Angela Smith, Conservative peers were watching the Bond movie Skyfall. The irony actually hurts.

 

Lady Smith might have been better keeping an eye on her own benches. Between the first Division of the Day, on the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, and the crucial vote on whether secret courts should be invoked only as a …

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 52 Comments

Liberal Democrat Lawyers’ Association speak out on secret courts

house of lordsThe Liberal Democrat Lawyers’ Association held a special meeting on Monday to discuss the Justice and Security Bill. They have sent this message to Lib Dem peers:

It was the unanimous view of the meeting that the measures introduced by the Justice and Security Bill amount to an attack on the Rule of Law in the United Kingdom and that those present were opposed to the measures contained in Part II of the Bill. I was felt that arguably the measures are a greater attack on our traditions and

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 36 Comments

Time to throw an anvil at secret courts

Next Tuesday, which is both my nephew’s 14th birthday and the 32nd anniversary of the founding of the SDP, the Justice and Security Bill comes back to the House of Lords for consideration. Now, my esteemed colleague Mr Valladares has given a very helpful account of what the Lords can and can’t do. He goes on to suggest that the Upper House will often back down in the face of pressure from the elected Chamber.

If ever, though, there was a time for the peers to kick off, it is now, when the right to a fair trial remedy for …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

My highlights of Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference

I’m a bit bleary eyed today. One conference is exhausting, two on successive weekends is positively foolhardy. Following that up with a trip to London for Federal Executive is craziness.

I spent the weekend in Dundee where Scottish Liberal Democrats held their main Conference. Over three days, there were no fewer than twelve policy debates, some of them incredibly powerful or controversial. Here are my highlights.

The Secret Courts debate

Yes, I’m biased as I proposed the motion rejecting the Government’s proposals, but the debate itself was very high quality. Liberal Youth co-chair Kavya Kaushik won the Russell Johnston award for the best …

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 2 Comments

What Lib Dem members say about ‘secret courts’: 66% back repeal, 64% say Clegg has handled issue “very badly”

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 650 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

66% say party should commit to repealing ‘secret courts’ legislation

The House of Commons has approved legislation extending the use of Closed Material Procedures – also known as ‘secret courts’ – in any civil proceedings (except, at present, for inquests) in cases where national security is said to be at risk. Do you support or oppose the repeal of this legislation featuring

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged | 5 Comments
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  • User AvatarFiona 20th Aug - 7:52pm
    As far as I can tell, the Herald is going through a phase of publishing SNP press releases as if they are actual news, complete...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 20th Aug - 7:16pm
    @Michael BG "one of the biggest failures of the Liberal Democrats was to accept Conservative policies they should have opposed" I sort of agree. I...
  • User Avatarjayne Mansfield 20th Aug - 5:58pm
    @ Bernard Aris, Of course many people , not only Liberals, are concerned with the moral content of what world leaders say and do. I...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 20th Aug - 5:34pm
    I'm not sure we need any concessions. I'm still thinking about this and I'd welcome any comments from anyone else who might have given this...
  • User Avatarfrankie 20th Aug - 5:26pm
    Bernard, More Uriah Heep than Oliver.
  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 20th Aug - 5:03pm
    an impressive performance, admittedly before a home crowd. Learnt that the treasury insists on high interest rates. Are tuition fees and other loans to make...