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Huppert welcomes victory for open justice

May 29, 2012 12:23 PM

MP Julian Huppert, who gained party conference support for his fight for civil liberties, has welcomed the government's decision to scale back plans to hold more court hearings in secret.

Julian, who rallied support at the Liberal Democrat's Spring conference for open justice and an end to heavy handed police tactics, says the decision is a victory for the party nationally.

The Lib Dems had called for closed hearing to be restricted to cases of national security only. A judge not a minister should decide whether a hearing is closed and it should never apply to coroner's inquests, the Lib Dems said.

Today (Tuesday, May 29) the government agreed to the Lib Dem's conditions in full announcing that plans to hold more court hearings in secret would be dropped from the Justice and Security Bill.

Julian said: "I am delighted with this outcome; it is a victory for the Lib Dems. We have worked hard to retain our system of open justice in this country and the government has listened to our concerns and acted upon them.

"We have already invested much time and effort in government to defend civil liberties. ID cards have been scrapped, DNA databases curtailed and surveillance controlled. It is unlikely that these changes to Labour's legacy would have been adopted by a Conservative government alone. And we will continue the fight."