Socialist Worker

Counter-terror bill threats

Issue No. 2087

A new counter-terrorism bill currently going through parliament is set to remove juries from some inquests into how people have died.

The bill is designed to avoid the risk of sensitive information – such as details of secret service activities – falling into the hands of jurors.

If the bill is passed, a single coroner will review evidence – and even then, the coroner and lawyers must be vetted.

Helen Shaw, of the pressure group Inquest, said, “We have serious concerns about these proposals, which have been introduced without consultation.

“The public will find it difficult to have confidence that these coroner-only inquests, with key evidence being suppressed, can independently investigate contentious deaths involving state agents.”

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Tue 5 Feb 2008, 18:05 GMT
Issue No. 2087
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