Thursday 22 October 2009

NUJ joins fight against secret inquests

The NUJ is opposing government plans to hold some inquests in private – and promised to step up campaigning against the measure.
Last night the House of Lords voted down the proposal – contained in the Coroners and Justice Bill – but ministers have vowed to bring it back in the House of Commons.
The bill would give the Lord Chancellor absolute discretion to order a secret inquiry from which even bereaved relatives would be banned.
Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said: “All inquests should continue to be open to the press and public. “It is only by that level of public scrutiny that people can be assured there has been a proper investigation into the deaths of their loved-ones.
“This idea is an attack on the basic principle of open justice and open scrutiny of state institutions. The NUJ will be working with MPs and others to oppose this authoritarian measure.”

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