Friday, 25 June 2010

This makes even less sense than I initially thought.

[trigger warning]

But first, some other updates on the rape defendant anonymity proposal:

So, there's the argument - advanced by Kenneth Clarke MP among other members of parliament, and by numerous supporters of rape defendant anonymity on the internet - that the defendant should get anonymity because the victim does. Or, alternatively, though not yet on the record from anyone in government, the defendant shouldn't have anonymity but neither should the victim.

I've already pointed out that there's no general reason why the defendant and victim should have the same treatment in a court case, but let's assume - as many people have argued by assertion - that in the particular case of anonymity this is true, and the suspect or defendant and the victim should have an identical level of anonymity.

Where then are all the people calling for the (over 18) victims of (non-sexual) crimes where the defendant is under 18 to be made anonymous. After all, the defendant has anonymity, so surely so should the victim. It'd only be fair.

The reason no-one is calling for this, of course, is that it makes no sense whatsoever. There is no need for the victims in those crimes to remain anonymous, whereas the defendants are anonymous for a range of near-universally accepted reasons. Nevertheless, if you believe that "defendant anonymity" should always be equal to "victim anonymity", that's what you're arguing for.