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Justice and security bill - a charter for cover-ups

1 March 2013

We are deeply concerned by the Justice and Security Bill. It was drafted in response to legal cases involving allegations of UK complicity in secret rendition, torture and inhumane treatment.

The bill is a charter for cover-ups. Neither the public, nor the victims, nor their lawyers nor the media will have a right to know.

Court records could be kept secret forever. Secret courts could be extended to undercover police officers, deaths of suspects in custody and deaths in the military.

The measures in the bill are an attack on open and accessible justice, they threaten the right to a fair trial and the rule of law.

Journalism at its best uncovers the truth and this bill intends to hide the evidence.

We are asking MPs to make their vote count and oppose the secret courts proposals in the Justice and Security Bill.

Signed by (signatures collected between 1 and 4 March 2013):

  • Michelle Stanistreet - General Secretary, National Union of Journalists (UK)
  • Frances O'Grady - General Secretary, Trades Union Congress (TUC)
  • Clare Algar - Executive Director, Reprieve
  • Kirsty Hughes - Chief Executive Officer, Index on Censorship
  • Gavin Millar QC - Doughty Street Chambers
  • John Pilger - Journalist, film-maker and author
  • Roy Greenslade - Professor of Journalism, City University
  • Kate Allen - Director, Amnesty International
  • Angela Patrick - Director of Human Rights Policy, JUSTICE
  • Gillian Slovo - South African novelist and President, English PEN
  • Shami Chakrabarti - Director, Liberty
  • Keith Best - Chief Executive Officer, Freedom from Torture
  • Agnès Callamard - Executive Director, ARTICLE 19
  • Dadimos Haile - Interim Director, REDRESS
  • David Babbs - Executive Director, 38 Degrees
  • Jim Boumelha - President, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
  • John Hendy QC - Old Square Chambers
  • Chris Frost - Chair of NUJ Ethics Council and Head of Journalism, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Mike Jempson - Director, The MediaWise Trust and Senior Journalism Lecturer, University of the West of England
  • Lawrence McNamara – Reader in Law, University of Reading
  • Eric Barendt, Emeritus Professor of Media Law, UCL
  • Noé Mendelle - Director, Scottish Documentary Institute, Edinburgh College of Art/University of Edinburgh
  • David Baines - Lecturer in Journalism, School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University
  • Paul Lashmar - Lecturer and Convenor, MA International Journalism, Brunel University
  • Tom O'Malley - Department of Theatre Film and Television, Aberystwyth University
  • Natalie Fenton - Professor of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Julian Petley - Professor of Screen Media, School of Arts, Brunel University
  • Vian Bakir - Senior Lecturer in Journalism, School of Creative Studies and Media, Bangor University
  • Angela Phillips - Reader in Journalism, Convenor MA Journalism, Goldsmiths University
  • Delwyn Swingewood - Senior Lecturer in Journalism, University of Central Lancashire
  • Jackie Newton - Senior Journalism Lecturer, Liverpool John Moore University
  • Richard Lance Keeble - Acting Head, Lincoln School of Journalists
  • Hazel Barrett - Senior Lecturer, Department of Journalism, Liverpool John Moore University
  • Kate Heathman - Senior Lecturer, Liverpool Screen School
  • Charles Brown - Course Leader, MA in Media Management, University of Westminster and Chair, UCU Harrow Branch
  • Bronwyn Jones - Lecturer and PhD researcher, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Lieve Gies - Department of Media and Communication, University of Leicester
  • Lucy Brown - Programme Leader MA Film and TV, University of Hertfordshire
  • Michael Pickering - Communication Research Centre, Loughborough University
  • Ayo A. Oyeleye - Media Lecturer, Birmingham School of Media
  • Judith Townend - Co-ordinator of Open Justice in the Digital Era project, Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism, City University
  • Dave Toomer - Freelance Lecturer in Media Law and Policy
  • Damian Carney – Principal Lecturer, School of Law, University of Portsmouth
  • Ian Cram – Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law, School of Law, University of Leeds
  • Alastair Mullis – Professor of Law, School of Law, University of East Anglia
  • Andrew Scott – Senior Lecturer, Department of Law, London School of Economics
  • R Craufurd Smith - Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Edinburgh
  • Fiona Fairweather - Dean, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London
  • Marie Gillespie - Professor of Sociology, The Open University
  • Hugh Mackay - Deputy Associate Dean and Senior Lecturer in Sociology, The Open University in Wales
  • Sally R Munt - Director, Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies
  • Atreyee Sen - Lecturer in Contemporary Religion and Conflict, University of Manchester
  • Raminder Kaur - Department of Anthropology, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex
  • Nigel Williams - TUC Programme Co-ordinator, Ruskin College
  • Nick Clark - Senior Research Fellow, Working Lives Research Institute
  • Andrew Cumbers - University of Glasgow
  • Farah Mendlesohn - Anglia Ruskin University
  • John Richardson - Loughborough University
  • Vir Bala Aggarwal - Chairperson, Department of Mass Communication, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla
  • Pluto Press
  • Len McCluskey - General Secretary, Unite the Union
  • Gerry Morrissey - General Secretary, BECTU
  • John Smith - General Secretary, Musicians’ Union
  • Mark Serwotka - General Secretary, PCS
  • Bob Crow - General Secretary, RMT
  • Sally Hunt - General Secretary, UCU
  • Mick Whelan - General Secretary, ASLEF
  • Steve Murphy - General Secretary, UCATT
  • Rob Monks - General Secretary, URTU
  • Tony Burke - Assistance General Secretary, Unite the Union
  • Harry Fletcher - Assistant General Secretary, NAPO
  • Frank Ward - Assistant General Secretary, Transport Salaried Staffs' Association
  • Megan Dobney - Regional Secretary, SERTUC
  • Jon Rogers - NEC member, Unison (personal capacity)
  • Karen Reissmann - NEC member, Unison (personal capacity)
  • Dave Green - National Official, FBU
  • Matt Foot - Solicitor, Birnberg Peirce Solicitors
  • Peter Noorlander - Chief Executive, Media Legal Defence Initiative
  • Nani Jansen - Senior Legal Counsel, Media Legal Defence Initiative
  • Anthony Hudson - Doughty Street Chambers
  • Conor McCarthy - Doughty Street Chambers
  • Guy Vassall-Adams - Doughty Street Chambers
  • Mark Stephens - CBE and Vice President, Commonwealth Lawyers Association
  • Des Freedman - Chair, Media Reform Coalition
  • Maurice Frankel - Director, Campaign for Freedom of Information
  • Barry White - National Organiser, Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom
  • Peter Tatchell - Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation
  • Milica Pesic - Media Diversity Institute
  • Kate Hudson - General Secretary, CND
  • Lynsey German - Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
  • Jeremy Hardy - Comedian
  • Jo Shaw - Federal Executive member, Liberal Democrats (personal capacity)
  • Martin Tod - Federal Executive member, Liberal Democrats (personal capacity)
  • Mark Pack - Federal Policy Committee, Liberal Democrats (personal capacity)
  • Stephen Tall - Co-Editor of Lib Dem Voice (personal capacity)
  • Neal Lawson - Chair, Compass
  • Natalie Bennett - Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
  • Hilary Wainwright - Editor, Red Pepper magazine
  • Richard Bagley - Editor, Morning Star
  • Mike Dodd - Editor, Media Lawyer
  • Nick Davies - Special Correspondent, The Guardian
  • Amelia Hill - Special Investigations Correspondent, The Guardian
  • David Leigh - Investigations Executive Editor, The Guardian
  • David Rose - Special Investigations for the Mail on Sunday and Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair
  • Liam Clarke - Political Editor, Belfast Telegraph
  • Gerry Carson - Carson Public Affairs and Media
  • Kary Stewart - Multi Media Producer, Ignite Creative Production
  • Kathryn Whitfield - Production Editor, Observer News
  • Jess Hurd - Photographer
  • Erika Singh - Senior Editorial Administrator
  • Jane Dudman - Editor
  • Neil Willis - Production Editor
  • Jamie Doward - Senior Reporter
  • Martin Shipton - Chief Reporter
  • Séamus Dooley - Irish Secretary, NUJ
  • Adam Christie - Joint Vice President, NUJ
  • Donnacha DeLong - NEC member, NUJ
  • Eamonn McCann - NEC member, NUJ
  • Paula Geraghty - NEC member, NUJ
  • Brian Morgan - Welsh Executive Council and Vice Chair, Cardiff and South East Wales Branch, NUJ
  • Jason Parkinson - Chair, London Photographers Branch, NUJ
  • Monica Foot - Chair, Press and PR Branch, NUJ
  • Anton McCabe - Secretary, Derry and North West Ireland Branch, NUJ
  • Phil Turner - Vice Chair, South Yorks Branch, NUJ
  • Don Smith - Welfare Officer, Dublin Freelance Branch, NUJ
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Juliette Jowit
  • Emma Lilly
  • Stephanie Fincham
  • Tim Gopsill
  • Ann Galpin
  • Jill Grimshaw
  • Jane Wheatley
  • Sara Clarke
  • Viv Pegram
  • Sarah Cave
  • Chris Wheal
  • Keme Nzerem
  • Nicholas Firth
  • John Stuttle
  • Leah Jewett
  • Professor Maureen McNeil
  • Dr Peter Pick
  • Richard Norton-Taylor - Writer on Defence and Security, The Guardian
  • Michael Calderbank - Co-Editor, Red Pepper
  • Bob Miller - Journalist, Unite & NIPSA trade unions
  • Charles Atangana - Economics Journalist
  • David Graeber - Reader in Social Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Jules Mattsson - Multimedia Journalist, Freelance
  • Cory Doctorow - Partner, Boing Boing/Happy Mutants
  • Alan Lodge - Photographer
  • Tom Davies - NEC member, Development Committee Chair, NUJ
  • David Hoffman - Photographer, EPUK
  • Marie-Pierre Leroux - Publisher Relationships Manager, NA
  • Peter Finn - Lecturer in Politics, Kingston University
  • Phillip Mallett - Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews
  • Gerhard Kerstiens - Science Consultant
  • Julie Jenkins - Clinical Data Co-ordinator, CRO
  • Michael Carter - Student
  • Julia Bard - Writer and Editor, Freelance
  • Miranda Basner - Lecturer, Media Ethics (retired)
  • Margot Huysman - Freelance
  • Matthew Aslett - Documentary Photographer
  • Susan Gardiner
  • Patrick Eden - Photographer
  • Anna Edmundson - INQUEST
  • Nick Thornsby - Day editor, Liberal Democrat Voice
  • Nandita L
  • Maia Hough - unemployed
  • Geoff Gilbert - Professor of Law, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex
  • Hannah Bellos - Student
  • Pat Harper - Writer and Editor, Freelance
  • Dave Henniker - Retired
  • David Marshall - Writer
  • Femi Konteh - Stylist
  • Greg Judge - Party Activist, Liberal Democrats
  • Caron Lindsay - Day Editor, Liberal Democrat Voice
  • Giselle Williams - Retired
  • Martin Robinson - Musician
  • Ewan Harvey - Student
  • Tim Holmes - Researcher, Public Interest Research Centre
  • Christopher Wright
  • Paul Foreman - Writer, Self-employed
  • Sean McCann - Banker
  • TF Birch
  • John Henry - Solicitor
  • Samir Jeraj - Freelance Journalist
  • Paul Cavaciuti - Music Teacher, Self-employed
  • Peter K A Barz - Director, Environmental Network Limited
  • Jon Sacker - Communications Consultant
  • Robert Thompson - Customer Adviser
  • Gary Glover - LP Officer, Lib Dems, Bermondsey
  • Sam McIntosh - PhD Researcher, Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism, City University
  • Brid Kerrigan
  • Anna Fairbank - Advocate, Disability Advice Service, Lambeth
  • John Mitchell
  • Tamsin Hewett
  • Harry Harris - Merchant Navy Officer
  • Simon Kewer - Cartoonist, Freelance
  • Simon Burrows - Software Engineer
  • Carole Tongue - Chair, UKCCD
  • Amanda Rawling - Sole Trader
  • Michael Gane
  • Huw Sayer - Freelance writer, Business Writers Limited
  • Chris Engert
  • Tom Walker
  • Georgie Willis - Trainee Tax Adviser
  • Susan Bryant - Director, Rights Watch (UK)
  • Shoaib M Khan - Solicitor
  • Don Mort - Newspapers and Agencies Industrial Council member, NUJ
  • Marc Vallée - Documentary Photographer
  • Benjamin Lovell - Journalism Student
  • Jane Dugdale - Unemployed
  • Colleen Toomey - Writer
  • Sara Joaquim
  • Nick White
  • Indrani Balaratnam - Research Intern, CagePrisoners
  • Kajsa Wall, Journalism student
  • Nicole Hutchinson - Retired
  • Peter Wood - Student
  • Mohammad - Trainee Journalist
  • Bonnie Newman - New Media Industrial Council, NUJ
  • Margaret Woods - Trade Union Organiser, Glasgow, Campaign To Welcome Refugees
  • Matthew Smith - Financial Services Contractor
  • Jon Slattery - Journalist, blogger ex-Crown Court reporter, Freelance
  • Ben Nacard - Urban Designer
  • Nicholas Alderton - PhD Student, Cardiff University
  • Pat Devereaux

Add your name (now closed)

Thanks to everyone who signed the statement.

The government pushed through its plans for secret court hearings, defeating amendments tabled by the Labour frontbench with significant majorities.

The Guardian report on the vote: Secret court hearing plans pushed through by government (4 March 2013)

Tags: , justice, press freedom, police, courts, justice and security bill, secret courts

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