'Secret court' provision alarms Law Society | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

'Secret court' provision alarms Law Society

A late change to health and safety legislation will allow use of so-called "secret courts" - and that should concern New Zealanders, the Law Society says.

A last-minute addition to the controversial health and safety reforms currently progressing through Parliament has alarmed the Law Society.

The changes would allow court hearings to be held in secret, in order to protect national security. The Crown could introduce secret evidence, which would not be seen by the defendant or their legal team.

The Law Society said the provisions would allow a person to be tried and convicted of a criminal offence without seeing all the evidence against them, and without the right to be present during all proceedings.

It has written to Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse to protest that the provisions should not have been inserted at such a late stage.

"We recommend removal of the provisions from the bill, to await the outcome of an inquiry the Law Commission is carrying out on national security information in proceedings," Law Society president Chris Moore said.