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2013-03-06 13:01:52
NUJ calls on MPs to vote against secret courts

 

Members of parliament will start to vote on the Justice and Security Bill this afternoon, Monday 4 March 2013.
 
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) along with many other organisations and individuals including legal experts, academics, press freedom campaigners and journalists have come together to urge MPs to vote against the secret courts proposals in the Bill.
 
The Justice and Security Bill proposals include the use of secret hearings and Closed Material Procedures for civil courts.
 
John McDonnell has tabled amendments to the Bill that include -
 
-Notifying the media of Closed Material Procedures applications
-Allowing the media to make submissions in response to CMP applications
-Ensuring closed judgments can become open when secrecy is no longer required
 
John McDonnell, secretary of the NUJ parliamentary group said: “Ken Clarke's plans mean that courts will meet in secret, with the evidence concealed from public view, and even from person bringing the claim. The freedom of the press to report on what happens in the courts is a vital check on the power on the State. This campaign demonstrates the amazing breadth of opposition to what the government is proposing. If this charter for cover-ups goes through then who is to say what forms of complicity in torture and inhumane treatment will be kept under wraps. It is vital that MPs stand up for the public's right to know when they vote on these measures."
 
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “The Justice and Security Bill represents a serious threat to freedom of speech and the media’s ability to report. The NUJ is urging all MPs to stand up for press freedom and vote against secret courts today.”
 
Read the campaign statement and list of supporters on the NUJ website - http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=2831


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