Anonymity provisions around the world: finding best practice for persons accused of serious sexual offences

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper draws on the author’s ongoing PhD research and focuses on the issue of anonymity for persons accused of serious sexual offences in Northern Ireland. It highlights the recent amendment to the law under the Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2022, which legislated pre-charge anonymity for persons accused of sexual offences. This amendment gave effect to the earlier recommendations made in the Gillen Report into the Law and Procedures in Serious Sexual Offences in Northern Ireland (2019). The paper argues that much can be learnt from the alternative approaches of other jurisdictions in the international context. Consequently, it discusses the laws of defendant anonymity from a comparative perspective, drawing on jurisdictions including the Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, New Zealand, and the United States of America. As such, a variety of approaches that are both discretionary and rules-based are explored and approaches which are stricter and more lenient than that in Northern Ireland are illustrated. The paper concludes by suggesting that any future reform in Northern Ireland should draw on the experiences of jurisdictions in the international context when striving for best practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 05 Apr 2023
EventSocio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference - Derry/Londonderry, United Kingdom
Duration: 04 Apr 202306 Apr 2023


ConferenceSocio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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