The High Court in Britain ruled today that once a child involved in court proceedings attains the age of eighteen they are no longer protected under the Children's Act (1933) and their anonymity is stripped away. High Court ruling.
However, this only pertains to children involved in family law proceedings and does not pertain to those who allege child abuse.
If abuse is reported to the authorities who presumably then investigate and prosecute the alleged offender, then the alleged offender has his/her day (or two) in court before a jury of their peers.
During the pendency of the proceedings, the accusers' identities are protected - BUT when the outcome of the trial goes in favor of the alleged offender, the accusers just scamper off, without any retribution for their claims. Been seeing a bit of that lately.
No doubt exists that a real victim should be protected in perpetuity. And their cases should be investigated and tried away from the light of public opinion, not on the telly, the web, social media.
The alleged offender, [these days likely a celebrity from the 60s/70s, with a continued successful career] is now found not guilty, but left with a burden of legal bills to pay their defense.
They go up against predatory personal injury lawyers, who promise their clients the earth and generally fail to deliver much more than what we call here in the States "go away money."
This is time-wasting nonsense for the quaking legal system in Britain.
My late brother in law,John Cornwell QC (Dawson and Cornwell) initiated a handy trick for resolving legal claims against contractors for shoddy work. Instead of hours of tedious testimony, bad photographs of bad work, and a lot of squabbling between the homeowner and the contractor, he changed it around.
Instead of the cases coming to him and his juries, he was able to marshal mini-buses to take judge and jury to the construction site, so they could inspect the bad work for themselves. He told me that this reduced the case load by about 90%, as the dodgy contractors knew they didn't have a prayer against live inspection by a trier of fact.
In that spirit, I would hope that the law can be changed regarding sex abuse claims. If the accuser(s) were found by a jury to have brought false allegations, their identity should be a matter of public record when they turn 18.
Just like the contractors who were suddenly exposed to objective scrutiny, these accusers might then think twice before running to the authorities to make false accusations in hopes of major compo, attention from the public via the MSM, revenge, whatever. Up to their counsel to advise them accordingly.
Doesn't mean the authorities shouldn't pay attention and do what is needful to verify claims that could be completely legitimate. But it does put potential accusers on notice that there are penalties for lying.
And that would probably reduce the case load substantially. Let alone the expense to the public. Just saying.