Government loses 7/7 inquests secret evidence appeal

22 November 2010 by

The Secretary of State for the Home Department has lost an appeal against a ruling of 7/7 inquests coroner that secret evidence must be heard in public.

Lords Justice Maurice Kay and Stanley Burnton upheld Lady Justice Hallett’s ruling of 3 November. The judges will provide their full reasoning at a future date. In the meantime, the government may appeal. This represents another in a series of recent court rulings which have emphasised the importance of open justice.

The Coroners Inquests into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005 are investigating the deaths resulting from the London Bombings on the 7 July 2005.

As we posted earlier this month, Lady Justice Hallett ruled that she does not have the power to hold secret hearings to hear evidence which, if made public, would pose a threat to national security. Dame Heather Hallett also ruled that although she, as a Court of Appeal Judge, could look at ‘intercept evidence’ governed by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000(“RIPA”), such material could not form part of the evidence at the inquests.

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