30 October 2023
The unfairness of secret hearings is being aggravated by sustained neglect of the special advocate system. In this piece I explain why I have regretfully concluded that I cannot accept any new appointments as a special advocate until the Government provides proper support for that system.
25 June 2023 was the tenth anniversary of section 6 of the Justice and Security Act 2013 (the JSA) coming into force. It was an anniversary that, as far as I know, passed unremarked. Nevertheless it was a remarkable anniversary – though not a cause for celebration. This is because it marked 5 years since the date that Parliament had required a review of the controversial procedures under the Act, involving secret closed hearings – and yet the Government’s response to the recommendations from that review was still awaited. Even now, no Government response has been forthcoming, nearly a year after the long-delayed report was published, despite the urgency attached to some of the recommendations.
What are these secret procedures?
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