Clarke defends secret court plans
The Justice Secretary has defended his plans to hold some evidence hearings in secret.
Mr Clarke told Sky News’s Murnaghan programme evidence that was currently held in courts would be held in secret, and that only evidence that could not previously be heard would be affected.
“No evidence that’s given in court at the moment is going to be given in secret under our proposals. What we’re talking about is evidence that might be given by spies about their sources, their technologies, what they know, none of which is ever given in open court in any country in the world, including in Britain.
He said the secret hearings were necessary in order to expand accountability of the security services.
He also implied the plans could save some money in payouts from civil cases: “Ordinary citizens, you and me, will be able to discover what the judge thinks of the defence. At the moment the people make allegations, the security services deny it, there’s no evidence given at all, the public taxpayer pays millions of pounds worth of damages.