The government has been criticised over plans to hold inquests
without juries, which campaigners fear could limit hearings into the
deaths of British soldiers and people shot by police.
The plans are
contained in the new counter-terrorism bill published last month and
allow the home secretary to withhold intercept evidence from the
families of the deceased in the interests of national security or the
UK's relationship with another country or “otherwise in the public
Although included in a bill to tackle the threat of terror, the new
powers are not explicitly restricted to terrorism cases and could in
theory be applied to deaths where no link with violent extremism is
suspected. The provisions are designed to avoid the risk of sensitive
information – such as details of secret service activities, phone-taps
and surveillance – falling into the hands of randomly-chosen jurors.
government officials say the new law covers only intercept evidence,
but campaigners believe the power could be used more widely and effect
inquests of British soldiers, the inquest into the shooting of Jean
Charles de Menezes, and other deaths at the hands of the police.
Shaw, of Inquest, said: “We have serious concerns about these far
reaching proposals, which have been introduced without consultation.
public will find it difficult to have confidence that these
coroner-only inquests, with key evidence being suppressed, can
independently investigate contentious deaths involving state agents.”
The coroner and lawyers would have to be vetted and the inquest would take place in secret. (source)
This Government has too many secrets already.
NuLab – Destroying Britain from the inside out.
In a free society, the rights and laws protect the individual from the government.
In a dictatorship, the rights and laws protect the government from the people.
A Libertarian Government would sweep the majority of this secrecy away, opening the doors to totally transparent government.
To find out more about the Libertarian Party, click on the logo on the top bar.