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    (Original post by hldomster)
    Doesn't justice need to be seen to be done?
    How on earth does it stop it. Has this bill now made it legal to rape someone.

    However the media will demand a name, - or follow previous cases and provide inclamations. I feel that this bill will buckle under weight of media and therefore corruption could emerge.

    Plus if someone is put away for 10 years for rape, and the public doesnt know his/her identity, whats stopping a re-attack. If people knew who this man/woman was then he'd be less likely to attack again.

    Rights of the accused, YES to anonymity whilst on trial
    " " " " " " " " " " " "" , NO to anonymity if found guilty
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    (Original post by Grape190190)
    Not really. I'm not comfortable lifting those accused of rape above those accused of any other crime. That doesn't make any sense, and it's entirely arbitrary. I think, from the weakness of the arguments below, you are inclined to agree with this. Personally, I think you should resubmit this but having these changes apply to all people accused of a crime. And then I'll almost certainly vote for it.

    Sorry, but that didn't remotely address what I said, did it? How is there not a remaining stigma in the case of someone accused of murder? Or abduction? Or plotting to blow up a plane? Or taking cocaine? Or wife-beating?
    It is my personal opinion that the social stigma attached to accusations of sexual offences are far worse than those attached to most other crimes. This is a view shared by the Home Affairs Select Committee who stated:

    "we believe that sex crimes do fall 'within an entirely different order' to most other crimes. In our view, the stigma that attaches to sexual offences—particularly those involving children—is enormous and the accusation alone can be devastating."

    (Original post by Grape190190)
    How so? They can be convicted of perverting the course of justice, can they not? I don't think there's significant scope for public criticism of rape-accusers, personally. It would just sell as sexist.
    It is extremely hard to convict someone for perverting the course of justice in a rape case as you'd have to prove intent and it could well be that intercourse took place and the discussion is over consent. In many cases the case will never reach trial and no prosecution of the false accuser can be brought.

    (Original post by Grape190190)
    Yes, but the theory of innocent until proven guilty doesn't actually hold up, does it? I we treat the alleged perpetrator as innocent, how can we justify raiding their house for evidence? How can we justify refusing to bail them.

    Again, I want to stress that I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you here: I just want you to explore the issues.
    I appreciate you wanting me to explore but I'd rather focus on this debate for the moment.

    (Original post by Grape190190)
    ...except that victims often do come forward once the initial accusation has been made public. I should probably look for a case.
    Of course others do come forward but the question is not whether it happens but whether it is significant enough to matter? You might be interested to know that suspects in these cases did indeed have the provisions of anonymity from 1976 until 1988 when they were removed. Since 1988 the conviction rate for rape has fallen which perhaps indicates that the removal of anonymity has had little or no impact.

    What are we discussing here? If there is sufficient evidence to gain a conviction from the complainants who have already come forward then there is no need to actively seek more complainants. And if there isn't sufficient evidence then on what basis can we smear an innocent person's name in the hope that he might actually be guilty?

    I take your point about necessary breaches of the principle but these should not be taken lightly and keeping someone in prison for some time or raiding their house is far less serious than ruining their name and reputation forever.

    Also, can a suspect kept in prison for no reason not claim compensation for this, at least in some circumstances?

    (Original post by Grape190190)
    Hm, not sure how true that is. We don't have seperate trials for serial-killers/rapists, do we? The Suffolk prostitute-killer, for example, was tried using combined eveidence from all the murders.

    At any rate, that doesn't really matter, because my point was more... a serial-rapist should, ideally, be convicted of as many of his crimes as possible.
    Very true. So if many complaints have been made against one person there should be a single trial for them all. This doesn't justify smearing an innocent man's name in the hope that he might be guilty. At worst we would end up having two trials as other victims come forward after he has been found guilty of one or more offences.

    (Original post by Grape190190)
    Yeap, I entirely agree with that; but I think it goes to the reliability of the witness, and is thus a point for judges, juries and lawyers to debate - not legislators.
    The damage here is done long before judges and juries are involved. The press can report it the moment of arrest.

    (Original post by Grape190190)
    I wouldn't go that far, although I agree that few would choose advance that argument here. I think that in the (ahem, somewhat) intellectual environs of the TSR HoC, most are inclined to hold idealistic views about the law. (Hence how easy it was for me to create a fuss when you tried to alter the scope for pre-charge detention.) However, out in the real world, an awful lot of people are less concerned about lofty principles like civil liberties than they are about their safety (or the safety of their daughters, or wives, or girlfriends, or sisters).

    If the jury was 90% that a man raped a young girl, I'd be willing to bet most ordinary people would want to at least know his name.

    Indeed, particularly in America (I'm not so sure about here), there are a lot of cases in which civil courts have upheld the right of citizens to penalise people accused, though not convicted, of crimes. For example, a landlord might "discriminate" against a man acquitted of child molestation by no longer allowing him to live in a building with young children. How do you weigh that decision? Is it ethically acceptable to let someone who probably abuses children live next door to a young family?

    I think there's an interesting and vitally important debate to be had there, even though I tend to fall on the same side of it as you. Sorry if that seems somewhat... frivolous. :woo:
    Not frivolous just somewhat unnecessary. Since no one is going to object on the grounds that people should be treated as guilty until proven innocent I see no reason to address the subject in this debate.
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    (Original post by ThePants999)
    Great Bill. Rather poorly named, though. Sounds like you're reforming rape, rather than the legislation surrounding it...
    True I suppose. And technically should be the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2008. But this title is snappier
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    (Original post by Matthew_Lowson)
    How on earth does it stop it. Has this bill now made it legal to rape someone.

    However the media will demand a name, - or follow previous cases and provide inclamations. I feel that this bill will buckle under weight of media and therefore corruption could emerge.

    Plus if someone is put away for 10 years for rape, and the public doesnt know his/her identity, whats stopping a re-attack. If people knew who this man/woman was then he'd be less likely to attack again.

    Rights of the accused, YES to anonymity whilst on trial
    " " " " " " " " " " " "" , NO to anonymity if found guilty
    The bill only proposes anonymity for those who are found not guilty.

    If a defendant is found guilty the ruling and the details would be made public.
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    (Original post by UniOfLife)
    As the post between ours points out, the Internet makes things somewhat more tricky. Furthermore, you cannot sue for libel if you don't know who accused you of the crime which in these cases you cannot know because of the anonymity provided to victims. You also cannot sue newspapers for reporting on facts because the facts are true even if the allegations that precipitated the arrest are completely false.
    I might be reading this wrong but are you saying that people don't know who has accused them of rape? That doesn't seem right to me are you sure?
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    (Original post by randdom)
    I might be reading this wrong but are you saying that people don't know who has accused them of rape? That doesn't seem right to me are you sure?
    Having checked the Act (linked above) Section 3 outlines the circumstances in which anonymity can be removed. The suspect can only be told who the accuser is if he convinces a judge that he needs to know the identity of the alleged victim in order to induce witnesses to come forward and also that not being able to do so will make his ability to provide a defence "substantially prejudiced".

    So, unless I'm reading that wrong (which is possible since I'm not a lawyer) it would seem that the suspect does not automatically get told who is accusing him of rape and must apply to a judge to be told. This would never happen if the charges are dropped for example.
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    (Original post by Grape190190)
    Sorry, mate, I don't follow.
    It doesn't matter.
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    So what happens if a man is suspected of the "Rape and then Murder" of a woman? The media always mention names of people accused of murder while they're in court etc, so will they not be allowed to do that if the suspect's accused of rape now? Or will they just not be allowed to say that he's being accused of rape at all?
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    (Original post by Icy_Mikki)
    So what happens if a man is suspected of the "Rape and then Murder" of a woman? The media always mention names of people accused of murder while they're in court etc, so will they not be allowed to do that if the suspect's accused of rape now? Or will they just not be allowed to say that he's being accused of rape at all?
    Under the provisions of the Act I suppose it would be up to the discretion of the trial judge.
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    I assume it would be the same as the anonyminity revolving around a victim who suffered "Rape and [any other crime, like assault or attempted murder]".
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    (Original post by UniOfLife)
    Having checked the Act (linked above) Section 3 outlines the circumstances in which anonymity can be removed. The suspect can only be told who the accuser is if he convinces a judge that he needs to know the identity of the alleged victim in order to induce witnesses to come forward and also that not being able to do so will make his ability to provide a defence "substantially prejudiced".

    So, unless I'm reading that wrong (which is possible since I'm not a lawyer) it would seem that the suspect does not automatically get told who is accusing him of rape and must apply to a judge to be told. This would never happen if the charges are dropped for example.
    That seems a bit odd. If this is taken to trial how is the person meant to deffend themselves if they don't know who the victim is
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    (Original post by randdom)
    That seems a bit odd. If this is taken to trial how is the person meant to deffend themselves if they don't know who the victim is
    I haven't been able to find much info on this. Not surprisingly most info is for rape victims not those accused of rape. Still looking though...
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    (Original post by jenjen1234)
    The bill only proposes anonymity for those who are found not guilty.

    If a defendant is found guilty the ruling and the details would be made public.
    Well in that case, It has my full support,

    However anonymity isn't always be complete if their is appeal. What would happen if someone was cleared on appeal?
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