The injustice of open justice

Davis, Colleen (2001) The injustice of open justice. James Cook University Law Review, 8. pp. 92-113.

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The open justice principle is one that is defended vigorously, particularly when there is any suggestion it be curtailed. However, ensuring that court proceedings are open to the public, and that the media can report such proceedings, often comes at a high price: the embarrassment, humiliation, hurt, social and employment consequences suffered by those who become involved in litigation, unwillingly or by choice, directly or indirectly. Although publication of guilt by the media could be regarded as part of the penalty for wrongdoing, people who are not committed to stand trial, or who are acquitted of an offence, can suffer enormously because they are identified as part of the publicity given to the proceedings. Suppression of names until committal, and possibly also until judgment, might alleviate a great deal of these unfortunate by-products of our legal system, but there is opposition to identity suppression because this is said to infringe the principle of open justice and the public interest in media reporting of court proceedings.

This paper will explore whether identity suppression orders do, in fact, impede open justice in practice, and whether they are an appropriate means of alleviating some of the injustice inherent in our legal system. It will be argued that name suppression achieves an acceptable balance between individual rights and public interest. Indeed, it is suggested that it is in the public interest for innocent people to be protected from the negative aspects of our legal system, including the consequences of trial by media.

Item ID: 13245
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1321-1072
Keywords: justice
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2013 05:08
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180120 Legal Institutions (incl Courts and Justice Systems) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940406 Legal Processes @ 100%
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