Campaigners vowed to keep fighting government plans for secret courts today after MPs rejected stronger safeguards.
The coalition saw off a bid on Monday night to amendments tabled by Labour, despite the opposition securing support from a number of Tory and Lib Dem MPs.
An attempt to make judges "balance national security against the public interest of open justice" was defeated by 297 votes to 226 - a 71 majority.
Campaigners called the defeat "a dark night for British justice" but hoped the Justice and Security Bill, which includes secret court plans, would still be defeated.
Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said: "The opposition to turning British courts into secret commissions continues. Once again, we look to the House of Lords to defeat secret courts and defend the rule of law."
Ken Clark, who is promoting the Bill, claims the measures are essential to enable sensitive intelligence material to be introduced in civil cases where the state is being sued.