Wednesday Jun 12, 201302:34 PM GMT
UK PM criticized for secret trial plan
Campaigners have criticized David Cameron for defending plans for secret trials.
Campaigners have criticized David Cameron for defending plans for secret trials.
Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:48PM
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Campaigners for civil liberties have criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron for defending the Tory-led government’s controversial plans for secret trials.


Legal action charity Reprieve condemned the scheme to extend the use of secret hearings in courts, saying it was aimed at covering up Britain’s role in torture.

Cameron claimed in the Commons on Tuesday that it "will always be a judge that decides" whether to make a trial secret.

Being questioned by members of the parliamentary liaison committee, the Prime Minister tried to argue that the scheme would stop "undeserved" compensation going to "unsavory" characters.

But lawyers and campaigners warn that such controversial proposals would put the British government above the law.

The coalition government’s controversial changes to Britain’s legal system, which are contained in the Justice and Security Bill, would allow more civil court cases to be held in secret, and would deprive defendants and their lawyers from hearing arguments made against them by the UK intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6.

Reprieve executive director Clare Algar said, "The origins of this bill clearly lie in a desire to avoid government embarrassment.”

BGH/SSM/HE

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