Anthony Peto QC is co-Head of Blackstone Chambers and co-Author with Andrew Tyrie MP of Neither Just nor Secure, published by the Centre for Policy Studies. This article represents his personal views.
Robert Buckland wrote an article on this site last Friday that Andrew Tyrie’s concerns about “secret courts” are wrong. In fact, it is Mr Buckland who is comprehensively mistaken in a number of important respects. Here are some of the most significant errors.
Mr Buckland repudiates Mr Tyrie’s suggestion that the Government “has shredded the Lords’ amendments” to this Bill. However, this is exactly what they did at the Committee stage. They removed four sensible and clear safeguards introduced, with overwhelming majorities, by the Lords:
- That Judges should refuse CMP’s where the public interest in the fair and public administration of justice outweighed the likely damage to national security.
- A provision that CMPs should be a measure of last resort.
- That the judge must first consider PII before ordering a CMP.
- That the citizen must have the same right to apply for a CMP as the State.