High Court condemns use of secret evidence

01 December 2009

Liberty today welcomed a ruling from the High Court that bail cannot be denied solely on the basis of secret evidence. The ruling, which said that bail applicants must be given an irreducible minimum of information about the case against them, also rejected Government claims that the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) was immune from judicial review.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said:

"Yet again it takes a senior judge to point out what most people already know – if the Government is going to lock you up, it needs to tell you why. Thanks to this historic judgment, the shadowy secret court system that has mushroomed under the War on Terror will now be exposed to the light of day. The hard lesson of recent years is that diluting Britain’s core values and abandoning justice makes us both less safe and free."

The Court refused the Government permission to appeal but delayed the release of the two men to give SIAC time to ask the Court of Appeal to hear the case.

Contact: Mairi Clare Rodgers on 020 7378 3656 or 07973 831128

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. In June 2009 the House of Lords ruled that suspects under control orders must be told a ‘core irreducible minimum’ of information of the case against them. This judgment can be found here.