It perhaps goes against my image as a hanger and flogger to lodge an amendment such as amendment 10, but I have no hesitation in doing so. I believe intensely in the fairness of the justice system. That extends not only to a fair trial, but to fairness across the board. I make no apologies for wanting to see a justice system that puts the
Rape, sexual abuse and abuse of children are the most heinous of crimes. The justice system recognises that to be a factor by giving anonymity to complainers before the trial, during the trial and, in many circumstances, after the trial. I want the conviction of criminals to go unhampered by technical transgressions and procedures that, at times, prevent justice from being served. When guilt is proved, I ask no favours for the convicted. In fact, the penalties that I seek in many cases go beyond those for which most members would wish.
However, because of the seriousness of the charge of rape or child abuse, there is a need to give anonymity to those who are complained against but whose guilt has not been proven. The stigma attached to the crime does not stick only to the individual; it spreads to their families and associates. The accused's friendships, social standing and, at times, job are affected. Stains on a reputation last a lifetime, even when guilt is not finally proven. There is a wide range of examples.