This provision, and the sixth amendment of the US constitution that enshrines the right of Americans to confront accusers, derives from English precedents that go back to the great achievement of the long parliament in 1641 in abolishing the court of star chamber, with its hated reliance upon anonymous witnesses and torture; and to "Freeborn John" Lilburne, the Leveller leader who insisted that all proceedings at his treason trial be heard in open court. For centuries thereafter, this nation could boast of the fairness of its trials compared with other countries in Europe where, as Jeremy Bentham stated, evidence was heard beneath a "veil of secrecy" and "wide open to mendacity, falsehood and partiality".

As one commenter points out, Labour should no longer be allowed anywhere near the criminal justice system.

3 thoughts on “Spot On.”

  1. What about the problem of witness intimidation by organised crime?

    Letting them go and commit more murders is a pretty grim alternative.

    We need a compromise, a special case that deals with those. How about a publicly randomly drawn panel of jury people who will ensure that fairness is preserved along with anonymity?

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