Mar 7 2013
The Government is set for a showdown in the House of Lords after MPs approved plans to allow courts to hear evidence from spies in secret.
Ministers want closed material procedures (CMPs) in civil cases after the Government was forced to concede compensation claims from suspected terrorists because contesting the accusations would have meant disclosing details of secret operations in open court.
Under the new measures, judges would be able to rule that in cases of national security evidence may be held in private so that the security services can submit their own counter claims.
MPs have voted in the Commons to give the Justice and Security Bill, which contains the controversial proposals, a third reading, by 222 votes to 13, Government majority 209 .
The legislation will now go before the House of Lords but peers have expressed concerns about the proposals.
Earlier, Lord Neuberger, president of the Supreme Court, said "anyone interested in democracy" would be concerned about the public being denied access to hearings, although he did acknowledge that the Government needed to be able to defend itself.