The signs are looking promising for the Secret Courts Bill, set to be published tomorrow. There’s been a huge row inside the government over its contents, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg leading Liberal Democrat opposition to draconian plans. He’s been aided in that battle by some of the more liberal parts of the Conservative Party.
Nick Clegg wrote to cabinet colleagues to criticise the proposals as unacceptable in their present form…
Clegg is demanding that the courts are only used in exceptional cases where there are national security concerns; that they complement the current system of public interest immunity; that judges, and not ministers, will decide when the special courts are invoked; and that they will not apply to inquests.
From what I hear, on all four issues the plans have been changed to reflect the concerns of the Liberal Democrats and civil liberties campaigners.