Anonymity Before Charge – Part I – Criminal Law and Justice Weekly

Posted May 7th, 2013 in anonymity, Law Commission, news, rape, sexual offences by sally

“In our article ‘Rape Defendant Anonymity’ last year ((2012) 176 JPN pp.5-8 and 24-26) we suggested that there was a strong case for banning the publication of the identities of rape defendants prior to any conviction. We included this as part of our submission to Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into the press, suggesting that he should consider the issue as part of his remit. Tucked away in the depths of the report (The Report into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press, November 29, 2012 at G Ch 3 para.2.39), whether or not in response to our submission the relevant text does not make clear, Leveson proposes that, other than in exceptional circumstances, the names of suspects and arrested people (referred to as ‘arrestees’) should not be published and that police guidance relating to publication should be tightened up to reflect this. The Law Commission disagreed (Contempt of Court: A Consultation Paper, Number 209, Law Commission) but in a judicial response to the Consultation Paper, Lord Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Tugendhat – supported by many other senior Judges, including the President of the Queen’s Bench Division and the Senior Presiding Judge – backed Leveson (A Judicial Response to Law Commission Consultation Paper no.209, March 4, 2013, released April 9, 2013).”

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Criminal Law and Justice Weekly, 4th May 2013