Criminal Law (Rape) Act 1981

Anonymity of complainants.

7

7. (1) Subject to subsection ( 8) ( a), after a person is charged with a F14 [ sexual assault offence ] no matter likely to lead members of the public to identify a F14 [ person ] as the complainant in relation to that charge shall be published in a written publication available to the public or be broadcast except as authorised by a direction given in pursuance of this section.

(2) If, at any stage before the commencement of a trial of a person for a F14 [ sexual assault offence ], he or another person against whom the complainant may be expected to give evidence at the trial applies to a judge of the High Court or Circuit Court for a direction in pursuance of this subsection and satisfies the judge—

( a) that the direction is required for the purpose of inducing persons to come forward who are likely to be needed as witnesses at the trial, and

( b) that the conduct of the applicant's defence at the trial is likely to be adversely affected if the direction is not given,

the judge shall direct that subsection ( 1) shall not, by virtue of the charge alleging the offence aforesaid, apply to such matter relating to the complainant as is specified in the direction.

(3) If at a trial of a person for a F14 [ sexual assault offence ] he or another person who is also charged at the trial applies to the judge for a direction in pursuance of this subsection and satisfies the judge—

( a) that the direction is required for the purpose of inducing persons to come forward who are likely to be needed as witnesses at the trial,

( b) that the conduct of the applicant's defence at the trial is likely to be adversely affected if the direction is not given, and

( c) that there was good reason for his not having made an application under subsection ( 2) before the commencement of the trial,

the judge shall direct that subsection ( 1) shall not, by virtue of the charge alleging the offence aforesaid, apply to such matter relating to the complainant as is specified in the direction.

(4) If at a trial for a F14 [ sexual assault offence ] the judge is satisfied that the effect of subsection ( 1) is to impose a substantial and unreasonable restriction on the reporting of proceedings at the trial and that it is in the public interest to remove or relax the restriction, he shall direct that that subsection shall not apply to such matter relating to the complainant as is specified in the direction; but a direction shall not be given in pursuance of this subsection by reason only of F14 [ the outcome of ] the trial.

(5) If a person who has been convicted of an offence and given notice of appeal against the conviction, or, on conviction on indictment, notice of an application for leave so to appeal, applies to the appellate court for a direction in pursuance of this subsection and satisfies the court—

( a) that the direction is required for the purpose of obtaining evidence in support of the appeal, and

( b) that the applicant is likely to suffer injustice if the direction is not given,

the court shall direct that subsection ( 1) shall not apply to such matter relating to a specified complainant and F14 [ sexual assault offence ] as is specified in the direction.

(6) If any matter is published or broadcast in contravention of subsection ( 1), the following persons, namely—

( a) in the case of a publication in a newspaper or periodical, any proprietor, any editor and any publisher of the newspaper or periodical,

( b) in the case of any other publication, the person who publishes it, and

( c) in the case of a broadcast, any body corporate which transmits or provides the programme in which the broadcast is made and any person having functions in relation to the programme corresponding to those of an editor of a newspaper,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(7) In this section—

a broadcast” means a broadcast by wireless telegraphy of sound or visual images intended for general reception, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

written publication” includes a film, a sound track and any other record in permanent form but does not include an indictment or other document prepared for use in particular legal proceedings.

(8) Nothing in this section—

( a) prohibits the publication or broadcasting of matter consisting only of a report of legal proceedings other than proceedings at, or intended to lead to, or on an appeal arising out of, a trial at which the accused is charged with a F14 [ sexual assault offence ], or

( b) affects any prohibition or restriction imposed by virtue of any other enactment upon a publication or broadcast.

(9) A direction in pursuance of this section does not affect the operation of subsection ( 1) at any time before the direction is given.

(10) If, after the commencement of a trial of a person for a F14 [ sexual assault offence ], a new trial of the person for that offence is ordered, the commencement of any previous trial of that person for that offence shall be disregarded for the purposes of subsections ( 2) and ( 3).

Annotations:

Amendments:

F14

Substituted (18.01.1991) by Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 (32/1990), s. 17(2)(a)-(c), commenced as per s. 22(3).