The changing face of justice – and why it matters to us all
Serialised in The Times in the week before publication
Helena Kennedy's new book, published on 4 March 2004, describes in shocking detail the current retreat from the rule of law and civil liberties, both of which are being subverted for short-term gains. The book is a powerful reminder that the rule of law – from Guantanamo Bay to the corridors of Whitehall – is fundamental to a world in which democracy, peace and justice can flourish.
Roundly challenging the record of modern governments with regard to fundamental democratic rights, Kennedy insists that we return to the values of equality and fairness and a respect for human dignity. She argues that, in the last 20 years, we have seen a steady erosion of civil liberties, culminating today in extraordinary legislation that wholly undermines long-established freedoms.
Are these moves a crude political response to demands for law and order? Or is the relationship between citizens and the state being reframed and redefined?
This thought-provoking study covers issues such as:
the right to privacy and the increase in electronic surveillance the questions raised by advances in genetics the procedural issues of 'double jeopardy' the proposed reduction of trial by jury. Kennedy also examines the huge increase in the number of women in prison and the inequities of the welfare system. In addition, she probes into issues that involve our relationship with other states – asylum, immigration, terrorism – daring to ask: is the climate of fear being deliberately used by the government to roll back our liberties?
Just Law is published on 4 March 2004, price £20.00. It can be purchased from all good bookshops and from Amazon.