Living with National Security Disputes in Court Processes in England and Wales
in Martin, G., Greg Martin, Scott Bray, R., and Kumar, M., Secrecy, Law and Society (Routledge, Abingdon, 2015) pp.23-42
Posted: 8 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 4, 2015
The ‘closed material procedure’ in Pt II of the United Kingdom’s Justice and Security Act 2013 imports radical changes into civil law proceedings by allowing the admission of evidence in hearings where one side is excluded. This procedure is primarily for the convenience of the Government when it wishes to adduce evidence related to national security. This chapter will explain the reason for the acute problems presented by national security disputes and will consider the potential accommodations that were delivered by the 2013 Act within a framework of justice and respect for rights.
It is found that recourse to sensitive evidence is increasing in forensic settings and that trend has resulted in legal anomalies, challenges, and obscurities. However, the UK Government must recognise that the main cause of this trend is not an increase in the amount of, or aggression within, litigation brought by aggrieved private litigants, nor even is the Human Rights Act 1998 to blame. Rather, the underlying cause is the spread of functions and size of the intelligence agencies and their deployment against individuals rather than state officials. Thus, the prime deficits in accountability, powers, and processes reside not with courts, but with intelligence agencies.
Keywords: Secrect justice, terrorism
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K19, K30, K33, K42, N40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation