Secrecy, injunctions and the rule of law
Court secrecy and injunctions act to undermine the rule of law.
What is interesting in the courts at the moment is the revelation that many of the injunctions that were granted should not, in fact, been granted. A number of these were granted on the basis of allegations that were untrue and have not been substantiated.
One of the problems with secret hearings (and we have still been having some unlisted hearings - something that is not supposed to happen) is that the judge cannot him or herself have confidence that the judge has heard all the evidence that is relevant to the case.
One sided hearings (ex parte hearings) which are held in secret are perhaps the most unreliable forum in which decisions are made. One side puts their case. No-one else (other than the judge and the one side to the case) knows that it is happening. The judge then makes a decision.
It was the case for many interim injunctions that a one sided secret hearing was all that happened and things then stopped.
The other problem I see is when court orders are used to prevent evidence being adduced in other fora.
Hence in a simplistic manner the following of a court order in one case acts to undermine the rule of law in other cases.
I have been quite surprised at the number of processes that have been used to undermine the rule of law. Court orders, secret unlisted and ex parte hearings, contracts, Public Interest Immunity certificates. All of these have been used in a way which has undermined the rule of law.
The rule of law does not mean a Kritarchy. The system has to function in a realistic manner with proper accountability. What that means for the UK is a lot less secrecy.