Coroners and Justice Bill

26Feb09

law-books1Some provisions in this vast, unwieldy Bill threaten to undermine still further civil rights and protections, particularly for victims of state violence.

The Coroners and Justice Bill, which had its second reading in the House of Commons on 26 January 2009, is a massive hotchpotch which deals with child pornography, defences to homicide charges and other miscellaneous criminal justice matters as well as with inquests.

It attempts to put the law of inquests into modern statutory reform, and for that it has been welcomed by campaigning groups such as INQUEST. But its clauses on secret inquests and on sharing personal information have sparked grave concern, as these proposals perfectly illustrate the drift into a surveillance society in which government officials are entitled to collect and share any and all personal information on us, while shrouding their own operations in secrecy in a policing state.

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