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Meeting 30 March 09: The Use of Secret Evidence and Evidence Based on Torture in the UK Courts

A Parliamentary meeting hosted by Diane Abbott MP

Speakers include:

Gareth Peirce (Birnberg Peirce)
Dinah Rose QC (Blackstone Chambers)
Shami Chakrabarti (Liberty)
Ben Ward (Human Rights Watch)

Monday, 30 March 2009, 3-5pm, Committee Room 16, House of Commons

International and domestic law entitles everyone to the right to a fair trial. The use of secret evidence is a restriction on that right. Secret evidence is particularly used in hearings in the UK where national security is deemed to be a concern. In such cases, defendants and their counsel do not know the case against them and cannot thus adequately prepare a defence. In the case of the so-called Belmarsh detainees, this has resulted in years of arbitrary detention for want of knowledge of the evidence that forms the basis of their detention. This information is also denied to their lawyers. This was recently condemned by the European Court of Human Rights. Secret evidence undermines the independent and correct functioning of the UK's judicial system.

Co-sponsored by: Peace and Justice in East London, CAMPACC, Brighton Against Guantánamo, Muslim Prisoner Support Group, Association of Muslim Lawyers, Cageprisoners, SACC