UK Intelligence Torture Case to be Held in Secret After Challenge Fails

Judges throw out demand by two MPs and human rights charity for public hearing. A judicial review aimed at overturning a decision to ditch a judge-led inquiry into the involvement of British intelligence in torture and rendition will be heard in secret after a challenge involving two MPs failed. The Conservative David Davis and Labour’s Dan Jarvis had joined with human rights charity Reprieve to demand the case be heard in public after it emerged that a further 15 potential cases of post 9/11 human rights abuses may exist.
Presiding judges Dame Victoria Sharp and Mrs Justice Farbey ruled on Tuesday that neither the charity nor the MPs had a right to have the full case heard in public because they were not themselves victims of torture or rendition. “In these circumstances, it is difficult to envisage how the present judicial review proceedings – which concern the investigative duty – have anything to do with the claimants’ civil rights,” the judges concluded.
Reprieve said it had wanted to see a “bare minimum” of information to properly understand the UK government’s defence and said in a statement it would consider an appeal. “History shows that in the absence of public testing and scrutiny of the evidence, justice is not done,” Maya Foa, the director of Reprieve, said. If the decision is not appealed against, a full hearing will be heard in secret with Davis, Jarvis and Reprieve represented by two special advocates, who will not ordinarily be allowed to communicate with the claimants.
Dan Sabbagh, Guardian,

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