The Use Of Secret Courts Confirms The End Of Democracy In Britain
The use of secret courts is a place where trials take place that is not open to the public, nor generally reported in the news and generally no official record of the case or the judge’s verdict is made available. Often there is no legal allegation. The accused is usually not able to obtain the counsel of an lawyer or confront witnesses for the prosecution, and the proceedings are characterised by a perceived miscarriage of justice to the benefit of the ruling powers of the society. This is the stuff of cold war Russia and Nazi Germany – right? Think again.
In the English-speaking world, one of the most notorious secret courts was the Star Chamber as it was used under Charles I in the early 17th century. The abuses of the Star Chamber were one of the rallying points of the opposition that organized around Oliver Cromwell, and ultimately resulted in the execution of the deposed king. The term “star chamber” became a generalized term for a court that was accountable to no one (except the chief executive) and was used to suppress political dissent or eliminate the enemies of the regime.
The inherent lack of objectivity of politically-motivated charges has led to substantial reforms in English law. Clearly there is something very dangerous and pernicious about secret courts.
During the First and Second World Wars there were a number of spy trials held behind closed doors and the odd one thereafter but secret trials in Britain is an affront to openness dating back to Magna Carta and have never been used in civil cases.
Then came a Conservative Bill called the Justice and Security Bill and was roundly opposed by everyone, literally everyone.
From GlobalResearch – “The Bill was savaged by the Lords, but returned to the Commons with all the Lords’ amendments struck out. On the day of the vote on gay marriages it slipped through the vote in the select committee with the vote of one backwoods Ulsterman rushed in at the last minute. (The vote was held at the same time as members were in the lobbies voting on the gay marriage Bill). … This law when passed, as it will be, can then be applied to all and any offence, even as lowly as a traffic accident. Accused persons will never be told of what they are charged and of course it is very unlikely they would be found ‘not guilty.’” That was back in 2013, today we have no idea what cases are being tried in this way.
Britain’s alleged complicity in the kidnap and rendition of suspects sent to Libya for torture is an alarming case in point. One only has to Imagine a situation where an innocent person is suing the government for damages for torture and kidnap, in one case including that of a wife and 12 year old daughter, then losing the case, without being present or ever knowing the reason why or what was said.
Phillip Johnston of The Telegraph wrote an excellent piece entitled “Secret trials: ‘Democracies die behind closed doors‘” which is well worth the read. It relays the real life horror of justice being used as a political weapon in modern day Britain.
In another piece by the BureauInvestigates entitled “How do you prove you’re not a national security risk?” a man was sacked by the Home Office on ‘national security grounds’ without ever being told why or for what reason. Overnight, this man’s life lay in ruins with his lawyers arguing against the Government’s controversial use of secret evidence and closed court hearings.
In a recent 150-page study, examining the use of secret evidence in a number of leading EU countries, state requests for evidence considered in secret on the grounds of national security was found to “significantly hinder” the judiciary system from ensuring fair trials. One has to remember we are discussing members of the European Union here, not North Korea.