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Tag Archive | "Ken Clarke"

ECHR (2) – And those against

There was always an air of mischief about the appointment of Lib Dem Simon Hughes to justice minister at the last reshuffle. He and his boss Chris Grayling are hardly soul mates, and Hughes has had some very forthright things to say about the government’s proposals.

“The Conservatives don’t care about the rights of British citizens” he said. “They care about losing to Ukip. These plans make no sense: you can’t protect the human rights of Brits and pull out of the system that protects them…We will not allow the Tories to take away the hard-won human rights of British people when in the UK or anywhere else in Europe.” Read the full story

Posted in Civil LibertiesComments (0)

Privatising Probation and the poisoned pill

In April 2012 Ken Clarke, then justice secretary, announced a consultation on proposals to improve the Probation Service. In January 2013, in a rapid acceleration of Clarke’s plans, his successor Chris Grayling proposed significant reforms to tackling re-offending and managing offenders in the community. He introduced a consultation paper entitled ‘Transforming Rehabilitation.’ His proposals included opening the majority of probation services to competition, Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

What has happened to habeas corpus?

The last chance to soften the impact of the justice and security bill steam roller was lost in the Lords last week when Lib Dem peers obeyed the party whip and amendments were defeated by a narrow margin.

The proposals to expand secret courts suffered a series of hefty defeats in the House of Lords last November. But most of these amendments were thrown out or neutralised by a single vote Read the full story

Posted in Civil LibertiesComments (0)

Justice and Security bill

On Monday the Justice and Security bill came back to a packed Commons at Report stage. The bill extends the secret hearings, known as closed material procedures (CMPs), into the main civil courts in England and Wales. Read the full story

Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Privatising probation

Last April Ken Clarke, then justice secretary, announced a consultation on proposals to improve the Probation Service. On Wednesday, in a rapid acceleration of Clarke’s plans, his hard line successor as justice secretary, Chris Grayling, proposed significant reforms to tackling re-offending and managing offenders in the community. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Tough but Intelligent

Simon Hoggart of the ‘Guardian’ has a theory that if the opposite of a remark is plainly ludicrous, then the thing was not worth saying in the first place. So when David Cameron uses a major speech to announce his new policy on crime as ‘Tough but Intelligent’, Hoggart asks: “Does he mean that the previous policy was ‘limp but stupid’? ‘Feeble but demented?’” Read the full story

Posted in Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Not gone just yet

It was the need to keep US security agencies onside and to prevent a repeat of embarrassing disclosures about the torture of UK citizens that led to the acceleration of plans to expand secret hearings into civil courts. A Justice and Security bill has already been introduced in the Lords and will be pushed through parliament this session. Read the full story

Posted in Civil LawComments (0)

Farewell Ken Clarke

Ken Clarke has been a big beast in the Westminster jungle for a long time. Now he has gracefully agreed to leave his post as justice secretary and has accepted demotion to minister without portfolio, with the right to advise on economics. Osborne may not be too pleased about that, particularly as Clarke will still be in the cabinet. Read the full story

Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice, Law Updates, Legal AidComments (0)

Losing the drugs war

The Commons Home Affairs Committee is compiling a report on drugs use in the UK, focusing on the effectiveness or otherwise of the government’s strategy, published in 2010.

Giving evidence to the committee, justice secretary Ken Clarke admitted that Britain is “plainly losing the war on drugs… it could be argued we are going backwards at times.” He acknowledged that the existing criminal law was not working. But rather puzzlingly he insisted this was no reason for despair, and politicians had to keep on trying to curb a problem that would not be solved by decriminalisation. Read the full story

Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Secrecy for them and us

When the then home secretary John Reid declared his department to be “unfit for purpose” it was split in two. The two halves were then inherited by Theresa May and Ken Clarke.

Clearly not the most compatible of cabinet colleagues, they have been forced into common cause by the strength of the opposition to their pet projects. Ken Clarke’s justice and security bill seeks to keep secret from us whatever they deem appropriate in sensitive trials, while Theresa May’s communications bill would make sure that we have no secrets from them. Read the full story

Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal JusticeComments (0)

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