Insights from the UK and beyond
What rights should terrorism suspects enjoy?
The Law Lords have ruled against the government over the sensitive issue of whether people accused of a crime should have the right to hear the evidence against them.
Three terrorism suspects had claimed it was against their rights to be subject to control orders — which effectively impose a form of house arrest on them – on the basis of secret evidence they have been unable to challenge or even hear.
The government says control orders are a means of limiting the risk it believes are posed by suspects it can neither prosecute not deport.
Rights groups say Britain is riding roughshod over one of its most cherished legal principles by not allowing defendants to hear the evidence against them.
One of the Law Lords, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the senior Law Lord on the case, said: “A trial procedure can never be considered fair if a party to it is kept in ignorance of the case against him.
“If the wider public are to have confidence in the justice system, they need to be able to see that justice is done rather than being asked to take it on trust.
Do you agree? Or are the stakes post 9/11 just too high to cling to what some may consider antiquated notions of fair play and justice?