Secrecy, Law and Society  book cover
1st Edition

Secrecy, Law and Society

ISBN 9780415792257
Published December 20, 2016 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

Commentators have shown how a ‘culture of security’ ushered in after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 has involved exceptional legal measures and increased recourse to secrecy on the basis of protecting public safety and safeguarding national security. In this context, scholars have largely been preoccupied with the ways that increased security impinges upon civil liberties. While secrecy is justified on public interest grounds, there remains a tension between the need for secrecy and calls for openness, transparency and disclosure.

In law, secrecy has implications for the separation of powers, due process, and the rule of law, raising fundamental concerns about open justice, procedural fairness and human rights. Beyond the counterterrorism and legal context, scholarly interest in secrecy has been concerned with the credibility of public and private institutions, as well as the legacies of secrecy across a range of institutional and cultural settings.

By exploring the intersections between secrecy, law and society, this volume is a timely and critical intervention in secrecy debates traversing various fields of legal and social inquiry. It will be a useful resource for academic researchers, university teachers and students, as well as law practitioners and policymakers interested in the legal and socio-legal dimensions of secrecy.

Table of Contents

1. Secrecy, Law and Society, Miiko Kumar, Greg Martin, Rebecca Scott Bray  PART 1: SECRECY AND SECURITY  2. Living with National Security Disputes in Court Processes in England and Wales, Clive Walker  3. Secrecy Law and its Problems in the United States, Thomas C. Ellington  4. Balancing Away Article 6 in Home Office v Tariq: Fair Trial Rights in Closed Material Proceedings, Ryan Goss  PART 2: OPEN JUSTICE AND PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS  5. Protecting Procedural Fairness and Criminal Intelligence: Is There a Balance to be Struck?, Gabrielle Appleby  6. Is There a Requirement for Fair Hearings in British and Australian Courts?, Steven Churches  7. Secrecy, Procedural Fairness and State Courts, Rebecca Ananian-Welsh  PART 3: RIGHT TO KNOW  8. Secrecy, the Media and the State: Controlling and Managing Information about Terrorism and Security, Lawrence McNamara  9. Secret Material and Anti-terrorism Review in Australia and Canada, Jessie Blackbourn  10. Secret Policing: Boundaries of Undercover Evidence, Miiko Kumar  11. Anonymity and Defamation, David Rolph  PART 4: SECRECY AND SOCIETY  12. Strategy for Public Interest Leaking, Brian Martin  13. Open Secrets, Open Justice, Katherine Biber  14. Secret Isle? Making Sense of the Jersey Child Abuse Scandal, Greg Martin and Rebecca Scott Bray 

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Greg Martin is a Senior Lecturer in Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Sydney. Among other things, his research interests are currently in: secret evidence and criminal law; social movements, law and policing; and cultural criminology. He is author of several titles including Understanding Social Movements (Routledge 2015).

Rebecca Scott Bray is Co-Director, Institute of Criminology, Sydney Law School, and Senior Lecturer in Socio-Legal Studies, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney. Her research interests lie at the intersections of law, criminology and culture, with a specific focus on issues around the dead.

Miiko Kumar is a Barrister at Jack Shand Chambers and a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney, teaching both compulsory and elective courses in Evidence and Procedure. Miiko was admitted as a solicitor in 1996 and called to the Bar in 2001.


"Lawyers, scholars and most certainly journalists and feature writers doing research in any of these areas will find this book, with its extensive and meticulous footnoting, a treasure trove of references to follow up as interesting and authoritative avenues for further enquiry. What is especially refreshing about the book is its plain-speaking and quite often hard-hitting approach to the various aspects of this topic about which the individual contributors have strong views. As a contribution to the ongoing debate on the often insoluble problems inherent in issues of secrecy, security, free speech and the law, this book with its diversity of opinion is first class." - Phillip Taylor MBE, Richmond Green Chambers