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Page last updated at 06:31 GMT, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 07:31 UK

'No evidence' of secret courts

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A Joint Committee of the parliament has strongly rejected the proposals put forward by the government in its Security and Justice Green paper, to allow more court hearings and inquests to be held in secret, arguing they are unfair and unnecessary.

Baroness Berridge, Conservative member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, told the Today programme's James Naughtie that the committee has not seen sufficient compelling evidence to support these proposals which she said would bring a "fundamental change" to the way courts operate.

She differentiated private hearings to secret hearings which she said involves one party not being present or their lawyer.

"Our system depends on adversarial system where you know the case against you so you can rebut that evidence," she said.

She insisted that this was "not a platform on which to base a law," adding that the judicial system operates on the principal that evidence must be subject test and trial.

She said not doing that can "mislead".


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