According to the Guardian, Ken Clarke has apparently lashed out at campaign organisations calling for Part II of the Justice and Security Bill to be scrapped.
Clarke says critics are wrong to allege that judges do not have decision making power as to whether the Closed Material Procedure should be used.
Here’s the wording of clause 6(2) of the Bill:
- The court must, on an application under subsection (1), make such a
declaration if the court considers that—
- a party to the proceedings (whether or not the Secretary of State) would be required to disclose material in the course of the proceedings to another person (whether or not another party to the proceedings), and
- such a disclosure would be damaging to the interests of national security.
The key word is “must” – that means if a judge finds that national security would damaged by disclosure of a relevant document, the judge has no discretion – the judge must order CMP to be used.
Either Ken Clarke has not read his own Bill, or he doesn’t understand it, or he is being disingenuous.