TB & MHG Press release
Monday 9 April 2012
HAEMOPHILIACS ACT TO PROTECT THEIR RIGHTS AGAINST CLARKE PROPOSALS
Most media coverage of the proposals by Justice Minister Kenneth Clarke to be able to hold secret court hearings has focused on the use of these for terrorist cases. However, many fear wider use in assisting Government cover-ups and limiting witnesses finding out important information; for instance in medical negligence cases.
Consultation on this was similarly secretive and inadequate. TaintedBlood and Manor House Group would like to inform you that TB member Andrew March and a group of similarly dedicated campaigners have been working for some weeks on a legal case involving the failure of the Ministry of Justice to adequately publicise their consultation Green Paper on "Justice and Security". We are pleased to announce today that on Wednesday 4th April 2012 Andrew filed a Judicial Review in the High Court (Administrative Division) regarding this matter.
The Green Paper ostensibly concerns the widening of the use of CMPs (Closed Material Procedures) in cases concerning National Security, but that is not where the proposals end. It has become clear that the proposals in the Green Paper will affect civil cases, such as medical negligence cases, inquests and other types of hearing.
As we worked it became clearer how much the haemophilia community would be adversely impacted if this Bill become law. For example, if we went to court in future with a medical negligence case –for instance vCJD – then we could face blanket secrecy in the courtroom and our present right to an open and democratic hearing could be lost for ever.
Tainted Blood chair Sue Threakall commented: “Following filing of Andrew’s judicial review, the response from the Treasury solicitors failed to give us the assurances we seek, to have an input to the consultation to help protect patients’ rights. Secret trials would lead to further injustice of the kind haemophiliacs have suffered over the years when trying to raise legally, the NHS mistakes made over HIV and Hepatitis C. Furthermore, if ever we were to be granted a Public Inquiry it could be held in secret and the truth about what happened to us would remain hidden.
“It is reported that Government ‘sources’ point towards some kind of climb-down about holding secret justice hearings in all but a tiny number of terrorism cases. We have put our marker down just in case.”
For further comment please contact Andrew March on 0715 381303
8 April 2012Article submitted by Sue Threakall