The government's controversial Justice and Security Bill is neither "just" nor "secure," a senior Tory backbencher warned today.
The Bill, which would allow secret courts - nicknamed closed material proceedings (CMPs) - in civil cases where ministers claim there are national security risks, has been roundly condemned by human rights groups and lawyers.
Under the plans the government would be able to submit evidence to the court in secret without the claimant or their legal representatives being able to see it.
The government claims that the changes are necessary to allow it to defend itself against civil claims and protect national security.
But campaigners say the Bill - which enters its Commons committee stage tomorrow - is an attempt to cover up Britain's role in rendition and torture and put security forces above the law.
Before Christmas peers inflicted a series of defeats on the government, voting to grant judges greater freedom to decide whether CMPs should be allowed.
In a further blow to the coalition, a new report - written by Tory MP Andrew Tyrie and Anthony Pero QC for right-leaning think tank Centre for Policy Studies - warns that the Bill risks prejudicing both Britain's system of open justice and its moral standing in the world.
"The effect of the government's proposals would make it more difficult to establish the truth about Britain's complicity in kidnap and torture," the report says.
"The Bill would provide a route neither more just nor more secure.
"Too many features of the Bill are designed to address the awkward consequences of disclosure of wrongdoing. Too little is being done to ensure that Britain closes the chapter on extraordinary rendition."
Mr Tyrie, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition, said the government "has been looking down the wrong end of the telescope."
The secret justice proposals had been "shredded by the House of Lords and should not have been brought before Parliament," he added.
"Not only must all the Lords' amendments remain in the Bill, they need to be underpinned by further improvements."
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