The recent legal challenge to the detention of Martin Corey by his legal team has highlighted an ongoing policy, albeit on a somewhat limited basis, of administrative detention or more commonly known as internment.
Martin Corey served 19 years for the killing of two RUC men in 1973. He was released in 1992 ‘on licence’. He has since been held in detention since April 2010. This was on the request of the Secretary of State at the time Sean Woodward, on the basis of ‘secret evidence’ or ‘closed material’ which neither he nor his legal team have access to.
However recently a judicial review of the Parole Commissioner’s decision to keep Mr Corey in detention found that the Commissioner’s had in fact misdirected themselves in law, and failed to put in place legal safeguards in relation to their decision, more specifically the ‘secret evidence’. More importantly, Justice Tracey specifically stated that the open material was not sufficient to keep Mr Corey imprisoned, and the sole basis of the detention was on ‘secret evidence’ which remained undisclosed, a central tenant of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to a fair trial. Subsequently, Mr Corey was released on unconditional bail by the High Court.
However, with considerable speed in the circumstances, lawyers for the Secretary of State appealed this decision on the grounds of jurisdiction of the court, namely that the court had no power to do so. The appeal was granted, and refused leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, however a direct petition to the supreme court will be sought by Mr Corey’s legal team.
This legal saga has at it’s very basis the issue of ‘intelligence’ and how it is obtained and used by the state. At the centre of this issue is another high profile case, that of Marian Price, who is being held is similar circumstances, this system of ‘justice’ must be actively opposed as it is a strike at the very heart of legal safeguards not just of our domestic situation but the European Convention on Human Rights. This is a make or break issue.
POSTED ON BEHALF OF : The Irish Law & Democracy Committee
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