The Green Paper on Justice and Security was laid before Parliament today by the Secretary of State for Justice. The Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP, has issued the following statement:
"I strongly welcome the publication today of the Government’s Green Paper on Justice and Security.
The risk of our courts disclosing foreign intelligence material, which allies had presumed to be shared in confidence, is extremely concerning. This undermines the ‘control principle’ – a key facet of intelligence sharing relationships – and risks damaging our national security. Additional protection for intelligence material is urgently needed. Yet it is also crucial, in the interests of justice, that the courts have access to all the relevant material in forming their judgments. Striking the right balance between keeping secrets secret and ensuring fairness in our courts is at the heart of this important consultation. The Intelligence and Security Committee will examine the Government’s proposals in detail, and respond in due course.
The Green Paper also contains proposals for reform of the oversight arrangements for the UK intelligence community. I am pleased that the Government has accepted the vast majority of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s own proposals in its Green Paper published today. This is a strong endorsement of our desire to modernise and strengthen parliamentary oversight of the intelligence community in this country. If implemented in full, the ISC will become a Committee of Parliament with greater authority, effectiveness, resources and credibility. It will significantly enhance oversight of the United Kingdom intelligence community in a manner in which Parliament and the public can have full confidence. These are significant reforms which I hope will earn widespread support."
Copies of the Green Paper and the Committee's Press Release are attached.
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