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Secret Courts

43 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 05 June 2013

Leading human rights barrister Dinah Rose challenges cabinet minister Ken Clarke over the Government's extension of the use of secret courts.

Dinah Rose is fundamentally opposed to the new law which allows so-called closed material proceedings to be used in civil courts where the Government is defending itself against such things as claims for compensation by alleged victims of torture. She says the move is unfair and unnecessary and undermines the principle of open justice. She was among a number of high profile figures who recently resigned from the Lib Dems over the issue.

But Ken Clarke, who pushed new legislation through parliament, says the alternative would be to allow Al-Qaeda to learn all of Britain's security secrets.

Their lively exchange comes in an edition of Unreliable Evidence asking if the fundamental tenet of our legal system - that justice should be seen to be done - is coming increasingly under threat.
Clive Anderson and his guests discuss the arguments for and against conducting proceedings behind closed doors in the Court of Protection, the family courts and in the criminal courts as well as issues relating to anonymity of defendants, victims and witnesses.

Producer: Brian King
An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.


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