• News Feeds
Page last updated at 07:47 GMT, Tuesday, 29 May 2012 08:47 UK

Ken Clarke: 'Alternative is silence' on secret courts

Advertisement

The government has scaled back plans to hold more court cases in private.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke told John Humphrys that what he has done is "clarify" that the changes apply to spies and the intelligence agencies.

"The only place it will be used is in matters of national security," he said.

"No country allows [spies] to give evidence in court. You'd have terrorists in the public gallery lining up making notes" he said, and explained that judges are "unwilling to second guess" cases where national security is at risk.

He acknowledged that the bill is "less than perfect but the alternative is silence", he said.

"All of us ought to welcome our intelligence agencies subject to additional scrutiny."


Get in touch with Today via email , Twitter or Facebook or text us on 84844.

Story Tools

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific