The government was locked in urgent talks with opposition parties last night to try to rush through emergency legislation on the use of anonymous witnesses in criminal cases, after the collapse of an Old Bailey murder trial and a warning from police that dozens of other prosecutions might now be in jeopardy.
Officials are trying to clear space in the parliamentary timetable so that laws can be pushed through in the 28 days remaining before the summer recess to rescue pending trials, including more than three terrorism cases, one of which is due to start in the autumn.
Police said yesterday there are 40 to 50 cases either going through the courts, or about to start, that could be affected by last week\’s Law Lords ruling. The ruling stated defendants have a right to know the identity of the witness giving evidence against them if the testimony is decisive.
So, the courts say that certain practices are a breach of one of the most fundamental rights, the right to a fair trial. Immediately they hear this the government rushes to change the law so that, while such certain practices are indeed a breach of that most fundamental right, the right to a fair trial, those certain practices will be legal.
And people wonder why we don\’t trust the little fuckers with our liberties?