"We cannot afford to sleepwalk into a system of secret courts...We should not sacrifice Britain’s open and transparent justice system simply to protect politicians and their officials from embarrassment." - Lord Macdonald QC, former Director of Public Prosecutions
"Secret courts are a throwback to the neurotic secrecy of the past which was designed for concealing injustices. This is not time for a denial of information and the recent trend is for more openness and transparency. I welcome this latest initiative by CagePrisoners and give my full support." – Paul Flynn MP
NO to secret courts
EXPOSE the truth
NO to secret evidence
EXPOSE the deceit
The move, if successful, will overturn more than 800 years of open courts dating back to Magna Carta and is seen as yet another attempt to erode civil liberties by denying the rights of those seeking justice.
The toxic efforts over three decades to conceal the truth from relatives who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough tragedy reveal just how destructive secrecy can be and by the time David Cameron apologised a trust had been broken between politicians, police and public and for some that trust is now beyond repair.
Despite the lessons learned so far from the Hillsborough cover up, government ministers continue to work on plans to introduce secret courts.
This move is a response to the public airing of evidence during litigation brought on behalf of Binyam Mohamed and other former Guantanamo detainees which upset American intelligence agencies. Their British counterparts say they fear the US authorities will cut off the flow of intelligence unless evidence is heard in secret. Once again it seems the UK's closest ally is dictating terms and conditions outside of its jurisdiction.
The reality is such courts would result in serious crimes being covered up - such as complicity in torture. Imagine this is your court case and you are not allowed to hear the evidence against you.
Transparency will never threaten national security but secret courts will compromise a judicial system whose fundamental values should represent everyone with equal measure.
IF YOU ARE NOT CONVINCED YET THAT THIS ISSUE IS CRUCIAL
Read Omar Deghayes' account of torture pictured at the launch of our No More Secrets campaign in Bradford