How you can help now: please back our motion to Spring Conference

Following the debate at the Liberal Democrats September conference in Brighton, we want to make sure that our MPs, Peers and Ministers deliver on the motion that was passed there.

Can you help? So far 738 people have backed our Secret Courts Petition, but we are now asking as many conference delegates as possible to back our motion to Spring Conference as outlined below:

Motion to Spring Conference against Secret Courts

Conference notes:

  • The motion “No Government Above the Law – the Justice and Security Bill” passed overwhelmingly at the Liberal Democrat Federal Conference in September 2012 called for:
    • Part II of the Justice and Security Bill to be withdrawn or defeated by Liberal Democrat parliamentarians; and
    • Public Interest Immunity to be put into legislation;
  • That the amendment calling for “CMPs to be used only as a last resort and in cases that would otherwise be incapable of being tried” was rejected overwhelmingly by the Liberal Democrat Conference;
  • That Liberal Democrat peers formed the majority of those voting in the Lords to remove secret courts from the Justice and Security Bill;
  • The Liberal Democrat party’s unique characteristic is that party members decide policy at Federal Conference;
  • That despite the above, the government’s intention as stated by Ken Clarke in the Commons on 18th December 2012 is to pursue enactment of Part II of the Justice and Security Bill including some, but not all, of the amendments proposed by the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Conference believes:

  • That the measures in Part II of the Justice and Security Bill will mean the courts system of the United Kingdom will provide neither justice nor security in cases involving allegations against the state of the most serious nature including torture, rendition, negligence of armed forces, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment;
  • That the proposals in the Justice and Security Bill are directly contradictory to the core values and stated purpose of the Liberal Democrat party as enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution, namely to “build and safeguard a fair, free and open society”;
  • That Part II of the Justice and Security Bill should be withdrawn immediately;
  • That active support for the proposals contained in Part II of the Justice and Security Bill in opposition to agreed party policy is tantamount to conduct evidencing material disagreement with the fundamental values and objectives of the Party.

Conference calls for:

  • In the event that Part II of the Justice and Security Bill is not withdrawn in accordance with the above, the agenda of the next Federal Conference shall include a debate to consider sanctions or other measures in accordance with the Constitution;
  • A pledge to repeal Part II of the Justice and Security Act (if so enacted) to be included in the Liberal Democrat manifesto for the next General Election.