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Evidence Protections For Complainants Of Sexual Offences Privacy Restrictions, Special Measures And Restriction On Cross Examination By The Accused Notes

BCL Law Notes > Evidence II: Practice and Principles Notes

This is an extract of our Evidence Protections For Complainants Of Sexual Offences Privacy Restrictions, Special Measures And Restriction On Cross Examination By The Accused document, which we sell as part of our Evidence II: Practice and Principles Notes collection written by the top tier of University College Dublin students.

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PROTECTIONS FOR SEXUAL COMPLAINANTS

1. PRIVACY RESTRICTIONS

2. SPECIAL MEASURES

3. RESTRICTION ON CROSS-EXAMINATION BY THE A IN PERSON
PRIVACY RESTRICTIONS
➢ Proceedings in camera
Criminal Law (Rape) Act 1981, as amended
S6Mandatory exclusion of the public from all proceedings for sexual offences including applications for the admission of evidence of a C's sexual experience pursuant to s 3

Persons entitled to be present expressly:Officers of the court, those directly concerned in the proceedings and bona fide representatives of the pressDiscretion vested in TJ to permit other persons to remain during hearing

➢ Complainant anonymity
S7
(1) General prohibition on publication or broadcast of any matter likely to lead members of the public to identify a person as the CThe TJ can issue directions that (1) does not apply in certain circumstances and subject to certain condition.While publication and broadcast is defined broadly for purpose of 7, Heffernan notes that the purposes do not include reference to social media and information technology

S 11Provides penalties for the publication of unauthorised matters

➢ Accused anonymityPreserved through similar measures contained in s 8 of the same act.

SPECIAL MEASURES
➢ Evidence through a live TV link
Criminal Evidence Act 1992, as amended S 13A child under 18 automatically gives their evidence through a live TV link in sexual offence trialsCan be extended to witnesses over 18 with the leave of the courtWitness must be available for cross-examination

➢ Evidence through an intermediary
Criminal Evidence Act 1992, as amended
S 14Where a person under 18 is giving evidence through a live linkThe court if satisfied, having regard to age or mental condition of the witness and if the interests of justice require, can:direct that any questions be put through an intermediary

Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act
S 19can be extended to alleged victims, regardless of age

Rape crisis network publication:-

in practice, an intermediary is very rarely used in Irish courts, In part because the legislation is vague about how, when and for what purpose they should be used and there have never been any Rules of Court to address these issues
However, the legislation is clear on one point:
Intermediaries may only be used to convey questions to the witness, not to convey witness's answers back to the court. This means that they may be of limited use

All a quote ^Also point to lack of trained intermediaries

➢ Evidence through a screen
Criminal Evidence Act 1992, as amended
S 14A
Inserted by s 30 (d) of the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017When witnesses under 18 are giving evidence'a screen or other similar device may be positioned, in an appropriate place, so as to prevent the witness from seeing the accused when giving evidence

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