Rape, Defendant Anonymity and Human Rights: Adopting a 'Wider Perspective'
(3) Criminal Law Review 199-215, 2011
15 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2014
Date Written: July 12, 2011
For six months during 2010, debate raged over the Coalition Government’s plan to grant anonymity to those accused of rape. This contentious public debate focused almost exclusively on rape-specific arguments for or against rape defendant anonymity, to the exclusion of broader criminal justice and human rights concerns. This resulted in an impoverished debate which, specifically, gave no consideration to recent jurisprudence in which the highest courts have examined the appropriate balance between freedom of speech and the protection of privacy when considering defendant anonymity orders. This article remedies this lacuna, analysing this case law and applying its insights to the proposal to grant anonymity to rape defendants. While the Government’s proposal has been abandoned for the time being, this article lays the groundwork for a more reasoned and human rights conscious debate in the future, when such a reform will no doubt be proposed once again.
Keywords: rape, anonymity, human rights, free speech, privacy
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