Inquests may soon be closed to the public/media

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Scabster_Mooch, May 20, 2008.

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  1. I think this has snuck under the radar.

    Under the Counter Terrorism Bill 2008, the Home Secretary can order that an inquest should not be made public and should not have a jury. That will mean the media will be excluded as well.

    He can so certify if the inquest involves materials that he thinks should be kept private because of:

    - public interest, or
    - national security, or
    - international relations

    This is Clause 64 of the bill.

    Everyone has their eye on the 42 day extension. This will therefore, as it stands, almost certainly be passed without so much as a squeak of protest from MPs.

    I cannot help but link this to Des Brownes dictat for coroners to be less critical. He was told to wind his neck in then, but if this bill is passed, then all he has to do is to ask the home secretary to make the inquest private.

    Looking at the way the clause is framed, I cannot see how the home secretary's decision can easily be challenged. He is empowered to make inquests private for any number of awfully broad reasons.

    Am I just being cynical or have I stumbled upon something here?*

    The Bill -->

    *actually, I heard about it on, of all places, Bremner, Bird and Fortune on Sunday.
  2. Cynical? Not a jot. There is absolutely nothing that our Legislators do that surprises me in the fooking slightest anymore. Especially when it might cover their arrses in the event of potentially embarassing information coming to light.
  3. Wasn't under the radar, I mentioned it yesterday regarding the public inquiry into Babah Mousah.

    One rule for the alleged unlawful deaths of suspected terrorists, another for the unlawful deaths of squaddies.

    The fact they are bringing it in under anti terrorist legislation merely underlines the festering hypocrisy at the heart of our government.
  4. How many years have we got to wait for a general election?
  5. The charge of corporate manslaughter comes to mind , new liarbour are running shit scared (I am pleased to say)
  6. "Swiss" got his ears burnt for trying to hush up a coroner.
    So the Cabinet have got together and found a way of stopping the general public from questioning them in future.
    It happens all the time and not just with this current shower of shite.
    Good find, Scabster, but as usual nothing will get done about it.
    I shall register my outrage and move on to the next scandalous peice of government legislation.
  7. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    It was mentioned on the Rory Bremner show on Sunday evening, along with the shiteholes of military accommodation.

    Doesn't mean anything will be done, of course, even if we all write to our MPs.
  8. As a matter of interest, the Counter-Terrorism Bill also contains a new proposed offence of Eliciting, publishing or communicating information - likely to be useful to a terrorist - about members or former members of the armed forces.
  9. I dunno. I can see there could be occasions where being closed might allow an inquest to be more widereaching and more scathing on sensitive areas. I was thinking the build up to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, where there was clearly a monumental c-ck up, but little of it could be released in public.

    But, I'd like to see a similar burden put on the Government as I believe there is with the 42 day detention. I.e. a stringent requirement to demonstrate the need for it to a judge.

    That said, I can't see why it would be needed to investigate combat deaths. And there's always going to be the accusation that a closed inquest is a whitewash / coverup. There has to be some public statement at the end of it all surely?
  10. I've written to my MP but his voting record on Anti-Terrorism legislation doesn't inspire confidence (he votes very strongly for anti-terror laws).
  11. I suspect that someone will throw a HRA at this one.......
  12. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    Johns Bird and Fortune have been exposing this kind of politicians' slimeballing for forty years now. It's a shame it's still necessary, but I'm glad they do.

    And that they're training young Rory to follow in their footsteps!
  13. I saw that and thought it was a bit of black humour - they even mentioned closing Brize so the all the dead would be repatriated to another airport, so it was under a different coroner.

    Oh no they wouldn't would they ??
  14. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    They attack some elements of Government Policy / Behaviour every episode. There was a great one about the aircraft carrier fiasco.

    And you know that if it suited the dogma of any party in power, they would close anything. Why do we import so many thousands of tons of coal nowadays?