News & events
The Security and Justice Green Paper
A roundup of developments and campaigns around these proposals.
On 19 October 2011, the government published the Security and Justice Green Paper (downloadable here: http://consultation.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/justiceandsecurity/), announced by Prime Minister David Cameron at the same time as the now defunct Gibson Inquiry. The paper covers three areas concerning security and justice and proposes the introduction of broad legislation to extend the use of Closed Material Procedures (CMPs, or trials with secret evidence) to almost all civil proceedings where national security or “sensitive material” may be an issue, to prevent cases like that of Binyam Mohamed against the Foreign Office being brought openly before the courts again and rules to modernise the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). The consultation closed on 6 January 2012. 90 responses, largely from organisations, were received. 65 of these can be read at: http://consultation.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/justiceandsecurity/responses-to-the-consultation
The remaining 25 may be published at a later date.
Given the potentially disastrous consequences of such proposals becoming law, the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has started its own inquiry into the human rights implications of the green paper. Submissions for this inquiry were accepted up until 20 January. These have been published and can be read at: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/joint-committees/human-rights/Justice_and_Security_Written_Evidence_2.pdf It has also held three oral hearings, on 24 January, 31 January and 7 February.
The following is a useful summary of developments with respect to the green paper: http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2012/02/14/sound-of-tumbleweed-greets-secret-civil-trials-proposals/
In light of all of this, Liberty, the civil liberties NGO has today launched a new campaign, For Their Eyes Only, to raise public awareness of the measures proposed: http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/campaigns/for-their-eyes-only/for-their-eyes-only.php
The campaign includes information about the issues, the risks they pose and actions the public can take. The press release for the campaign launch: http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/media/press/2012/-for-their-eyes-only-liberty-launches-campaign-against-g.php