Anonymity for defendants accused of sexual abuse or rape

Reintroduce anonymity for defendants in sex abuse or rape casesTheOpinionSite.org

 

After yet another high-profile case is lost by the CPS, this time in the trial of William Roache, it is time to reintroduce anonymity for defendants accused of sexual abuse or rape.

At the very mention of the subject, women’s groups, child protection “experts”, the (some would say rather unreliable) NSPCC and other so-called ‘charities’ all inevitably and immediately scream, “No! No! No!”, well aware that if such anonymity were in fact granted to defendants, many of these organisations and individuals would soon become redundant.

TheOpinionSite.org has for some years now been making the point that for the term ‘justice’ to mean anything of value, both sides in the adversarial arena must have‘equality of arms’; indeed, such a principle is at the very heart of the British Criminal Justice System and has been since Magna Carta in 1215 and the Bill of Rights in 1689.

To be clear, this fundamental principal does not mean ‘limited equality of arms’.

For example, if the Crown Prosecution Service engage a QC to present their case, the defence will also be entitled to a QC, even at public expense if necessary.

If expert witnesses are called by one side, the other may also do so.

So, if the accuser in the case – for there is no ‘victim’ until something has been proven – is entitled to anonymity, how can the defendant possibly be denied the same protection?

After all, both sides must be equal.

 

Read more…

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