Tuesday 10 November 2009

NUJ pledges to fight on over secret inquests

The NUJ has pledged to fight on against Government plans to introduce secret inquests.
The union has welcomed the way MPs voted for a rebel amendment to remove the proposed right of the Justice Secretary to demand controversial deaths are investigated behind closed doors.
The government plan to allow inquests to be replaced by an inquiry - which could be held in secret, without a jury, without media and without the involvement of bereaved families scraped through parliament yesterday by eight votes.
The NUJ has pledged to oppose the plan. Labour MP John McDonnell, secretary of the NUJ parliamentary group, said: “Inquests are key to democracy - they expose the truth surrounding the death of a loved one for many bereaved families and are instrumental in preventing further deaths in similar circumstances.
"Our laws should not allow the state to hide information at the expense of scrutiny and accountability - shielding embarrassing information from the public gaze.
“In light of last night's vote, the government must listen to the principled stand many have taken and climb down from its dogged insistence on pushing these provisions through parliament."
Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, added: “I applaud all the MPs who voted in favour of open justice. All inquests should continue to be open to the press and public. The NUJ will continue to work with MPs and other unions to keep inquests in the public domain.”
The proposal must now go back to the House of Lords where it was defeated last month.

1 comment:

Rich Simcox said...

I've written to my MP Joan Ruddock to ask her to oppose this. Others might like to do the same.