Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Select Committee

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has said it is "unlikely" that the use of juryless trials "in extreme cases" will be scrapped.

During an evidence session with the Joint Committee on Human Rights on 16 November 2010 on the coalition's human rights cases he said he recognised that trials without a jury should only be used where there is a clear risk of jury intimidation.

It was announced in May that the coalition would establish a commission to look at creating British Bill of Rights, incorporating and building on obligations under European Convention on Human Rights.

The Conservatives had previously wanted it to replace the Human Rights Act - whilst remaining subject to the European Court of Human Rights - whereas the Liberal Democrats wanted the Bill of Rights to be an additional document.

During the summer it was announced that government was to cut spending on its annual report into worldwide human rights abuses, a move criticised by former Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell.

The Foreign Office Annual Report on Human Rights, first produced in 1997, highlights incidents of torture and oppression around the world.

It monitors the use of the death penalty and the illegal arms trade, and is available as a guide for UK businesses to see which countries it is ethical to trade with.

The coalition has also announced a number of policies it says will strengthen civil liberties such as scrapping ID cards, extension of the Freedom of Information Act, more protections for the DNA database, protecting trial by jury and regulating CCTV.


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