Archive for June 26th, 2009

A series of podcasts on Civil Liberties – and the right to a fair trial

Roger Smith, Director of Justice, writing in this week’s edition of The Law Society Gazette has a thoughtful piece called Acts of Folly and states: “New Labour’s anti-terrorism legislation has proved ill considered and unnecessary.”

He adds..“We should remove the ban on the use of intercept evidence. It is the reason why, in at least some cases, the government cannot get a criminal conviction.”

I have completed a series of three podcasts on the right to a fair trial from three different perspectives….

Lawcast 145: Diane Abbott MP on the use of secret evidence

Today I am talking to Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington about her latest campaign to prevent the use of “secret” evidence in UK courts.

Earlier in the year Diane tabled an early day motion (EDM) declaring “that this House believes the use of secret evidence in UK courts is fundamentally wrong”, and calling on the government “to begin an immediate independent review into the use of evidence that is not ever heard by the defendant or their lawyer but which is used to justify indefinite detention, severe bail conditions or control orders”.

Listen to the podcast

Read Carl Gardner on

Lords judgment: Home Secretary v AF

Lawcast 141: The House of Lords judgment on control orders

Today I am talking to Carl Gardner, ex government lawyer and author of the Head of Legal blog about the House of Lords judgment in Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) v AF (Appellant) (FC) and another (Appellant) and one other action

Lord Pannick, QC represented the lead appellant, AF “Since the Home Secretary can no longer impose control orders without telling the controlees the substance of the case they have to meet, the right decision — legally and politically — would be to abandon the discredited control order regime and concentrate on prosecuting in the criminal courts those against whom there is evidence of wrongdoing.”

We also cover Diane Abbot MP’s campaign about secret evidence

Listen to the podcast

Lawcast 143: On the importance of Jury trials

Four men accused of being part of a gang that stole £1.75 million in a raid at Heathrow face the first criminal trial without a jury in England and Wales for 400 years after an historic Court of Appeal decision on Thursday

The Times reported “ The ruling means that the new trial, which would normally be tried by a jury, will be the first of its kind in England and Wales under legislation that took effect in 2003 to prevent jury nobbling. The only other judge-only trials for serious cases, known as Diplock trials, have been in Northern Ireland.”

Today I am talking to Tim Kevan, a barrister, author of the babybarista blog and forthcoming BabyBarista book and co-founder of the legal training company CPD Webinars”.

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