25 June, 2008

Anonymous Witnesses

I rather like the debate going on at the moment about whether some witnesses should be allowed to remain anonymous in some cases, especially cases related to gang crime.

I think that it is true that many witnesses are too scared to step forward without anonymity. I don't think this fear is paranoia or irrational.

I also believe that it is true that one of the corner stones of our justice system is to face your accuser. Where the accuser is hidden, we cannot have sufficient information to judge their honesty. No can we have people confirm that witnesses version, because we cannot revel who that witness is.

It's a tough one. fairly interesting articles on the subject here and here. The Times article (the 2nd one) is particularly well balanced.

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