Anorak News | Kafka Courts

Kafka Courts

by | 2nd, February 2004

‘THE doctrine of pre-emption is not just confined to our foreign policy, but is already seeping into our criminal justice system.

CAMRA members deny being involved with suicide bombs

The Guardian says Home Secretary David Blunkett is planning a major extension of existing anti-terrorist legislation, which allows suspected terrorists to be detained without trial.

He “believes the nature of the new ‘global suicide terrorism’ means it may now be necessary to keep evidence in a terrorism case secret even from British defendants and their lawyers in order to protect intelligence sources”.

In other words, people can be held indefinitely without even knowing what their “crime” is and without access to proper legal representation.

It sounds remarkably similar to a British version of Camp Delta, the mockery that the US has made of justice and human rights at Guantanamo Bay.

The Guardian says, however, that one option under consideration is to introduce special courts, where defendants could be represented only by state-vetted counsel – much like the proposed military tribunals on the other side of the Atlantic.

Of course, these Kafka Courts might be rather more palatable if the intelligence on which the decisions were made was, in the word of David Kay, pristine.

But if intelligence services don’t know the difference between a chemical weapons refinery and a baby milk factory, how do we expect them to know the difference between a terrorist and a man with a long beard?’

Posted: 2nd, February 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink