|Secret Court - Keep Out|
The Justice and Security Bill - which many consider to be more about security than justice - had its second reading in the House of Lords on 19th June. The Bill survived this reading and is now committed to a Committee of the Whole House. The debate can be read at Proceedings in Parliament 19th June 2012 - start at time 3.08pm and later at 6.27pm.
"LIBERTY" - Campaign "For their eyes only" and see their briefing paper on the bill.
So, what do others have to say?
On 15th June, the Lords Constitution Committee issued a report critical of some aspects of the bill. Interestingly, the Committee picked up on a point, also made in an earlier post on this blog, that Ministers would be granted Henry VIII powers to extend closed material procedure to inquests in Coroner's Courts. A fuller analysis of the Constitution Committee's report may be read at UK Constitutional Law blog 25th June 2012. The author (Jack Simson Caird) says that the Committee;s report demonstrates that key elements of the Bill ‘challenge’ two principles of the rule of law: open justice and natural justice and that the report’s analysis and conclusions on the constitutionality of the Bill are likely to have a major impact upon the scrutiny it receives in the committee and report stages in the Lords.
Next is the trenchant criticism from those lawyers
who currently act as Special Advocates - read Special Advocates Memorandum 14th June. See also the post on the UK Human Rights blog 14th June where the special advocates' memorandum is discussed. Parliament's Human Rights Committee is to take further evidence on the bill on 26th June from a small number of the Special Advocates.
David Anderson QC (Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation) has indicated that he considers that the bill addresses a genuine problem in a disproportionate way - The Guardian 19th June
Earlier posts on this Bill written soon after the publication of the bill are: 30th May 2012 (which looks at oversight of security services) and 31st May 2012 where the detail of the proposed closed material procedure is considered. After writing the 31st May post, I added various links to the views of several learned writers.
Addendum: The Of Interest to Lawyers blog considered the 2nd reading in some detail here