Civil liberties campaigners attacked David Cameron today for trying to defend the government's plans for secret trials.
Legal action charity Reprieve said the scheme was just aimed at covering up Britain's role in torture.
The Prime Minister claimed in the Commons on Tuesday that it "will always be a judge that decides" whether to make a trial secret.
Under closed material proceedings, evidence the government claims could affect Britain's national security would be heard in secret - with the person bringing the case shut out.
Questioned by members of the parliamentary liaison committee, Mr Cameron tried to argue that it would stop "undeserved" compensation going to "unsavoury" characters.
He said he had been persuaded to take action after the government was forced to settle out of court to stop damaging evidence coming out showing its complicity in rendition and torture of a number of people including former Guantanamo inmate Binyam Mohamed.
Lawyers and campaigners say the proposals would put the government above the law.
Reprieve executive director Clare Algar said: "The reality is that the government has settled cases because there has been clear evidence they were mixed up in serious human rights abuses.
"The British High Court has found that our government's involvement in the torture of one of this country's residents went 'far beyond that of a bystander or witness.'
"Documents found in Tripoli show that MI6 worked to render the wives and young children of Gadaffi opponents back to Libya, then run by the colonel's brutal regime.
"The origins of this Bill clearly lie in a desire to avoid government embarrassment.
"If he really does have nothing to hide, why won't the Prime Minister list which cases it is that require such a dangerous departure from the proud British tradition of fair and equal justice?"
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