Home Secretary challenges 7/7 ruling

Posted by Mairi Clare Rodgers on 18 November 2010

It’s been a busy few days at Liberty HQ – on Tuesday we had payments to Guantanamo detainees, in part to keep certain details secret, and today we have a Government attempt to exclude bereaved family members from the 7/7 inquests.

The compensation payments are all well and good if it means a full and open inquiry into the torture allegations can begin, but trying to bar the relatives of those killed in the 2007 tube bombings from attending a long-fought-for inquest is disgraceful.

Secrecy has its place – of course it does, but if the Coroner, Lady Justice Hallett, believes that the hearing can be conducted without compromising national security then isn’t this reassurance enough?

In her measured ruling she insisted that “…sources’ names may be withheld, redactions made.  I do not intend to endanger the lives of anyone.  I do not intend to allow questions that might do so”.

If the security services won’t even trust a senior judge, you really have to question whether they recognise the vital role of the courts in a free society – a society which they serve.

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